Giggs congratulates Xavi on equalling Champions League record
Ryan Giggs has offered his congratulations to Barcelona maestro Xavi after he equalled the United legend's Champions League appearance record.
Xavi played for the 151st time in Europe's premier cup competition during Tuesday night's thrashing of APOEL, equalling Giggs' record for most matches in the competition with one club.
The 34-year-old made his Champions League debut at United in the first of two epic 3-3 draws between Barca and the Reds in 1998 and has won the competition three times.
Giggs, now 41, scored in that first six-goal game and was effusive in his praise for one of football's modern midfield greats.
"It’s always disappointing to lose a record but to share it with someone of Xavi’s calibre certainly softens the blow," Giggs told Mundo Deportivo.
"For me he is like a chess player who is always two or three moves ahead. He is one of the greatest footballers in one of the best teams of all time.
"What surprised me most in the games I played against him was the way in which he caressed the ball and protected it, keeping if far away from his opponents.
"It seemed as if he always took the right decision at the right time.
"What I most liked about him was his intelligence on the pitch and, although I don’t know him very well, the humility with which he carried himself.
"He reminds me a lot of Paul Scholes, but Xavi is definitely better at tackling!
"He has the qualities to be a coach because of the intelligence and leadership skills he has acquired during his career."