Ryan Giggs Profile
|Born||Nov 29, 1973|
A one-club man throughout an illustrious playing career, Ryan Giggs is a true legend of Manchester United and of the Premier League as a whole. He now hopes for more success as manager of Wales.
Ryan Giggs is a former footballer for Manchester United and the current manager of the Wales national side. A member of the famous Class of '92, the winger won 13 league titles, two Champions League titles and four FA Cups during a legendary 22-year spell at Old Trafford.
A one-club man as a professional, Giggs' time at Old Trafford as a player straddled the First Division and Premier League eras and, such was his longevity, not only is he the Red Devils' all-time leading appearance maker at 963 in all competitions, he is more than 200 matches ahead of Bobby Charlton in second place on the list.
He also captained Wales, earning 64 caps on the international stage. Giggs finished the 2013/14 season as player-manager at United and was appointed Wales boss in 2018. He has since led his home nation to Euro 2020 qualification and promotion in the UEFA Nations League.
A legend of Old Trafford
A member of the famous Class of '92, Giggs made his first start against local rivals Manchester City - scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win. In 1992, he won his first piece of silverware as United beat Nottingham Forest in the League Cup final.
The following season, Giggs was a first-team regular as Sir Alex Ferguson's men won their first league title in 26 years. He also scored a brilliant solo goal in the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal and famously celebrated by taking off his shirt - with his strike going on to win that year's BBC Goal of the Season award.
In 1999, the winger won his first Champions League title - assisting Teddy Sheringham in an epic comeback against Bayern Munich in the final. United became the only team to win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in one season.
Ferguson's side won the Champions League again in 2008, with Giggs scoring the winning penalty in a tense shootout against Chelsea.
A year later, the Welshman beat the likes of Jenson Button and Jessica Ennis to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. In his final season as a player, Giggs broke Real Madrid legend Raul's record to become the leading appearance holder in Champions League history. With 13 league titles and four FA Cups, the winger is recognised as a legend at Old Trafford. In his book 'Leading', Ferguson claimed Giggs was one of only four world-class players he had managed - along with Paul Scholes, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Not only was Giggs a phenomenal talent on the pitch, his longevity was also a prominent figure of his game. Including international caps and four matches at the 2012 Olympic Games for Great Britain in London, the Welshman played enough matches to fill two successful careers for an average player - racking up more than 1000 appearances overall, a feat almost unheard of in the modern game.
A glittering career also saw Giggs earn plenty of personal awards alongside the continued success of his Manchester United team as a whole. He earned the PFA Players' Player of the Year award in 2009, as voted by his fellow professionals, as well as taking a place in the PFA Team of the Year on six occasions.
Giggs was appointed player-coach at Manchester United in 2013/14, taking charge of the final four games of the season after David Moyes was sacked - earning two wins and a draw with just a single defeat.
He then became Louis van Gaal's assistant manager on a permanent basis in the summer of 2014 after the Dutchman's arrival at Old Trafford, before leaving the club two years later following Jose Mourinho's appointment.
Ryan Giggs and Wales
As a youngster, Giggs attended a school in Salford and even captained England Schoolboys. However, he claims he always wanted to play for Wales rather than "a country where I wasn't born or which my parents didn't have anything to do with."
Giggs made his senior debut as a substitute in a 4-1 defeat against Germany in 1991, becoming the youngest player to represent Wales at the time. He scored his first international goal in 1993 in a 3-0 win over Belgium in a World Cup qualifier.
Giggs retired from international football in 2007 to focus on his United career. He captained the side in his final game - a goalless draw against the Czech Republic.
Giggs earned 64 caps in total and also captained Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics, scoring in a 3-1 win over the United Arab Emirates to become the oldest goalscorer in Olympic history.
His 64 Wales appearances came mostly in competitive matches, with Giggs stating in his autobiography that playing in friendlies would have increased his chances of becoming injured, which would have been detrimental to his club career with Manchester United.
Despite Giggs' talent on the pitch, he could not help guide Wales to a major tournament in his playing career - with Wales' Euro 2016 qualifying after his playing career had concluded.
In a managerial capacity, though, Giggs took charge of the Welsh national side in January 2018, replacing Chris Coleman who left to join Sunderland.
Giggs' men qualified for the delayed Euro 2020 after a crucial 2-0 win over Hungary, with Giggs able to tick off an achievement he could not manage as a player by qualifying for a major tournament.
Wales also earned promotion to UEFA Nations League A after winning their group. However, assistant Rob Page took charge of the final two group matches after Giggs was arrested on suspicion of assault in November 2020.
The Class of '92 and Salford City
In 2014, Giggs became co-owner of Salford City along with former United teammates Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, David Beckham and Nicky Butt under the company name 'Project 92 Limited'.
With this significant investment placed in the club, they earned four promotions in five years, making it to the Football League for the first time in the club's 80-year history in 2019 after beating AFC Fylde in the National League playoff final at Wembley.
Giggs and his fellow co-owners have elevated Salford to heights they have never experienced before, with their mid-table finish in their first Football League season acting as a platform to try and push for new heights as a club.
While the former United players still hold a stake in Salford City, Singapore businessman Peter Lim now owns 40% of the club.
In 2011, several sources outside the UK reported Giggs had obtained a gagging order to prevent details of his affair with model Imogen Thomas being published. However, it was flouted by many people online and MP John Hemming, who named Giggs in the House of Commons. Giggs was also at the centre of marital controversy after it was revealed that he had also had a long-term affair with his brother Rhodri's wife, causing a lasting rift in the family.
In 2006, Giggs became an ambassador for UNICEF due to his work for the organisation while playing for Manchester United. He previously visited one of their projects in Thailand to raise awareness over the number of children being injured and even killed by landmines.
Giggs has an estimated net worth of £44million and earns an annual salary of £400,000 as Wales boss. The United legend reportedly earned a £400,000 bonus in 2020 for qualifying for the upcoming European Championship.
During his playing career, Giggs had lucrative endorsement deals with multiple companies including Reebok, Fuji, Givenchy, Citizen Watches and more.