Ryan Giggs continues to defy the odds by plying his trade at the highest level despite turning 40.
And according to Ladbrokes the Welsh wizard will be weaving his magic for a while yet with odds of 3/1 saying he racks up more than 1,000 Manchester United appearances.
Giggs currently has 35 trophy wins to his name and odds of 15/8 say he will retire with that number, while it’s 11/8 that he adds one more under new boss David Moyes.
The veteran ace is 4/1 to manage United’s first team at any point but while the success that the remainder of his career will bring remains to be seen, his triumphs so far are unrivalled and here we take a look at a few of the highlights.
First full start against Manchester City
While Giggs straddled the youth and first teams during the 1991-92 campaign – winning the FA Youth Cup as part of the famous ‘Class of 92’ – he made a big enough impact in the senior XI to fully announce his arrival.
The history books will show his debut as a substitute appearance in a 2-0 defeat to Everton, but Giggs will look back far more fondly on his first full start.
Simply making the starting XI for a derby match against rivals City would have been a momentous occasion for the then 18-year-old, but scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over the Citizens put Giggs on the road to becoming a United hero early on.
First Premier League title in 1992-93
The rebranding of the top flight as the Premier League coincided with a rise in the performances Giggs put in each week. Now a solid part of the first team he played in 46 games in all competitions and broke double figures for the first time with 11 goals.
This input from midfield helped United find another level and end their 26-year wait for a league title. While 15 goals apiece from Eric Cantona and Mark Hughes were the biggest contributions – Giggs’ efforts were not far behind and resulted in him winning a second successive PFA Young Player of the Year Award.
Champions League win in 1999
The last year of the 20th century will be remembered by most football fans as the year United claimed an historic treble.
While this stands as arguably the club’s most successful campaign it is the Champions League triumph in particular that’s likely to rank highest among Giggs’ achievements. By this stage the Red Devils icon already boasted five Premier League and three FA Cup medals so helping United lift Europe’s top prize for the first time since 1968 ensured the winger’s legendary status among the Old Trafford greats.
Captaining Team GB at London 2012
Giggs has always been immensely proud of playing for Wales and was handed the captain’s armband in 2004. However one could argue that Wales’ lowly status on the international scene saw him place his club interests as the higher priority – missing countless friendlies for The Dragons.
As such, Giggs is often listed as one of the greatest players never to feature at a World Cup finals. This meant that the chance to represent Great Britain as one of the three over-age players at a home Olympics was too good to turn down.
Team GB’s campaign ultimately ended in failure but captaining a national side at a major tournament allowed Giggs to achieve yet another first in his sparkling career.
Premier League title in 2012-13
With 13 Premier League winning seasons to look back on choosing another that stands out will be hard work for Giggs. However, earning yet another medal when obviously in the twilight of his career will carry extra weight.
The fact that the win came at a time when many were writing United’s chances off makes the achievement that much sweeter but taking the title back from neighbours City and giving Sir Alex Ferguson the perfect send off help this particular title earn a spot on this top five.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim three £10 free bets when you bet £10.