Related News

Home » Sports » Soccer

Ryan Giggs finally voted player of the year at 35

MANCHESTER United stalwart Ryan Giggs has been voted player of the year by his fellow English league professionals for the first time at the age of the 35.

The top Professional Footballers' Association accolade was the one prize that had eluded English football's most decorated player since making his United debut in March 1991.

After receiving the award last night, Giggs is now hoping to make his 800th appearance for the Premier League leaders in Wednesday's Champions League semifinal first leg against Arsenal.

Despite his age, Giggs remains key to United's quest for four titles this season. The team has already won the Club World Cup and League Cup, while still remaining on course to defend its Premier League and European titles.

Giggs, who is contracted to the Red Devils until June 2010, has won 10 Premier League titles, two Champions League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups - all with United.

"It's right up there with personal accolades, it's the best to have as it's voted by your fellow players," Giggs said at the London ceremony. "I've been fortunate to win a lot of trophies, I won the young player award twice, but this is the big one."

The former Wales international broke United's appearance record in last May's Champions League final victory over Chelsea, surpassing Bobby Charlton's 758 matches.

Although Giggs has been restricted to 12 league starts this season as his blistering pace has faded, he has been moved from the wing to a more central role and remained a regular in the squad for all competitions. United has a three-point lead over Liverpool at the top of the Premier League standings with a game in hand.

"It's an exciting season," he said. "I think it is going to go right to the wire, there's big game after big game now. That is what you want and need at a club like Manchester United."

Giggs, who was one of five United players on the six-man shortlist, thanked manager Alex Ferguson for helping him to stay at the top of his game for 19 years. The 67-year-old Ferguson has been in charge at Old Trafford since 1986.

"The manager has been massive in my career from when I first met him when I was 13," Giggs said. "That's over 20 years and he knows me better than anyone and our relationship has been brilliant and just gets better.

"I've been so fortunate to have such a great career in so many great teams, it's not even worth thinking about what it would have been like without the manager."

Ferguson had said the Cardiff-born player he lured from Manchester City's academy didn't just deserve the award for sentimental reasons.

"It is unbelievable to think he has been at the top for so long," the Scot said. "We are a very special club and we are lucky that players have chosen to spend their entire careers here."

Giggs has started taking his coaching badges, but is not thinking about his post-playing career.

"As long as I'm getting picked, enjoying it and injury-free, I'll carry on as long as I can," Giggs said. "At 35 you can't look too far into the distance, you just can't."

Giggs was one of six United players in the PFA's Premier League team of the year. He joined goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, defenders Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra and winger Cristiano Ronaldo. Completing the lineup were Portsmouth defender Glen Johnson, Liverpool duo Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka and Aston Villa winger Ashley Young.

The 23-year-old Young was also named young player of the year, reflecting fifth-place Villa's successful season.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend