Ryan Giggs wins Bilbao 'One-Club Man' prize
The career of Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has been recognised by Athletic Club of Bilbao, who have announced that the long-serving Red will be the latest recipient of their prestigious 'One-Club Man' award.
The prize, which was created in 2015, “rewards players whose trajectories in a single team represent values that Athletic Club considers attached to their identity”.
The Bilbao club traditionally only sign players that were born or trained in the greater Basque country, which includes areas of northern Spain and southern France. As such, Athletic have boasted many players that have stayed with the team for their entire careers.
Giggs has been identified for the loyalty, commitment, responsibility, sportsmanship and respect he showed during a 23-year career with United, which encompassed an incredible 963 games.
The first winner of the award was Matthew Le Tissier, who was honoured in 2015 for his dedication to Southampton across 17 seasons.
Le Tissier has been followed in subsequent years by Paolo Maldini (AC Milan), Sepp Maier (Bayern Munich), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Malin Mostrom (Umea IK) and Billy McNeill (Celtic).
It is expected that Ryan will make a trip to Bilbao to receive the award, if possible in the near future.
Usually, the footballer winning the One-Club Man/Woman award will be accompanied to the centre of the field at the new San Mames stadium by Athletic's all-time record appearance-maker, Jose Angel Iribar, and the youngest representative of Athletic's Lezama-based Academy.
At half-time of an Athletic game, the player will then be given a trophy.
Giggs is currently manager of the Welsh national team, following a spell working as Louis van Gaal's assistant at Manchester United, after his retirement from playing in May 2014.