Thank you, Ryan Giggs
There's only one Ryan Giggs. After almost 29 years of continuous service to Manchester United, the club legend is leaving to pursue a career in management.
It is difficult to do justice to his incredible service to the Reds but our video covers his early moments as a player to his last major act at the club, fittingly helping to guide the team to FA Cup glory in May 2016 in his role as assistant manager.
Two similarly long-serving icons of United gave us these tributes to Ryan when he retired as a player:
SIR ALEX FERGUSON"People can judge footballers on many aspects of their game, but to play for Manchester United means there is a competitiveness and intensity in every single game. At our club you don’t play friendly games or easy games – each one is a cup final for the team we’re playing against. So when you consider that Ryan had to run up and down that left touchline for over 20 years in matches of that intensity, he is truly unique. What he managed to do was completely unheard of."He became a hugely important figure within the dressing room. All the younger players would go to him because he commanded such respect and had such great influence on his team-mates. I know that when I used to get Ryan, Scholesy, Gary and Rio Ferdinand in the office and chat to them about clamping down on the dressing room and making sure that everything in there was right, Ryan was the one among them who would be the foremost figure, no doubt about that. His place in the history of Manchester United and football is already assured. I doubt we’ll ever see a career like his again."
SIR BOBBY CHARLTON"Ryan Giggs was a unique footballer. He has been a credit to Manchester United and I don’t think we will ever find his like again. It was an absolute pleasure for everybody at the club to work with him and a joy for all the players he played with. He’s a great professional and I’m ever so proud of him for what he’s done during such an incredible career."Sir Alex Ferguson used to tell me often just how fantastic Ryan was to work with, and both men set such high standards. He just loves the game of football and that shone through in his dedication to playing the game for as long as he could. It’s incredible to think that he played past his 40th birthday – back when I was playing, everyone just assumed that you were finished when you reached 30! For Ryan to play for so long and win so many honours was absolutely sensational. It has been an honour to follow his career."
Everybody at the club would like to sincerely wish Ryan the very best of luck for his future in football.