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Giggs’ greatest Man Utd moments after legend leaves Old Trafford

| 04.07.2016

Holly Thackeray | Updated July 1, 2016

Giggs’ top 10 moments after Man Utd exit

After an incredible 29 years at Manchester United, Ryan Giggs’ departure from Old Trafford was confirmed, calling time on one of the greatest one-club careers in football history.

Sir Alex Ferguson once famously referred to the most evergreen of his celebrated Class of ’92 as “like a cocker spaniel chasing a piece of silver paper in the wind,” when in full flight down that left wing.

The iconic number 11, previously assistant to former boss Louis van Gaal in the dugout saw his hopes of claiming the managerial throne come undone this year as Jose Mourinho instead was appointed, as expected.

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From racking up more appearances for Man Utd (963), and the most Premier League outings (632), than any other player, to becoming the most decorated individual in the game with a massive haul of 34 trophies, it is tricky to pin down Giggs’ highlights.

But, for those who fondly remember the floppy haired attacker tearing down the flanks in red, and helping to define the Premier League era, Coral have picked out the original Welsh wizard’s 10 best moments for Man Utd.

The Red Devils are 9/2 second-favourites for top-flight supremacy next season after the appointment of ‘the Special One’ and capturing of former PSG frontman Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Though there will be no Giggs involved for the first time in almost three decades!

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Derby debut ‘goal’ (1991)

As first from the famous ‘Fergie’s Fledglings’ batch to break through, a 17-year-old Giggs made an impression from the off while combining senior and youth team duties.

A derby debut against Manchester City (with whom Giggs was briefly affiliated) was his first full start after a making his official bow versus Everton, and the starlet’s speed certainly caused a kerfuffle.

Giggs’ pace and a Brian McClair cross sent the Sky Blues into a spin, meaning the youngster grabbed his maiden Red Devils ‘goal’, despite replays showing Colin Hendry was culpable. Still, it all counts!

FA Youth Cup catalyst (1992)

Alongside fellow Red Devils alumni David Beckham, Nicky Butt, and Gary Neville (with Paul Scholes and Phil Neville still to come), Giggs guided his side as skipper to the feted FA Youth Cup trophy, with a famous 3-2 second leg victory against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, winning 6-3 on aggregate.

Having already broken in to the first team, guileful Giggs cemented his reputation as arguably the most exciting of the bunch, as he provided a crucial and curling assist for the final goal. This cup would later come to be seen as the catalyst which spurred the Class of ’92 on to greater things, with the Welshman at the heart of it.

Firing fastest for Man Utd (1995)

It is quite something to be able to claim bragging rights for bagging Manchester United’s fastest-ever Premier League goal, and unsurprisingly speedster Giggs was the one to get off the mark quickest.

We always knew he was fast, but a strike against Southampton made Giggs the sharpest gun-slinger in the West. Well, at least at Old Trafford, as a superb Scholes pass found enigmatic Eric Cantona out wide, with Giggs coolly converting the Frenchman’s knock-down just 15 seconds into the game.

Late Juventus leveller (1999)

Everyone knows the story of the Red Devils’ tremendous run to the treble in 1999, with skipper Roy Keane painted as the reluctant hero in United’s tight Champions League semi-final two legs against Italian giants Juventus.

Yet, looking back, Giggs’ excellent individual goal in Turin, to give the Mancunians the cushion of an away strike was just as decisive, as they ran out 4-3 victors on aggregate.

That Arsenal FA Cup goal (1999)

Yep, this is the one, an iconic goal burned into generations of football fans’ minds across the globe as the strike that sums up the beauty of the FA Cup, which Man Utd clinched in 2016 with an extra-time win over Crystal Palace.

In another crucial moment as Man Utd chased a trio of crowns in 1999, Giggs single-handedly tore apart the Gunners defence in their FA Cup semi-final second leg scuffle.

In extra-time the Welshman worked his magic feet to dribble the length of the pitch, evading all in Arsenal shirts, before slamming the winner past a helpless David Seaman and into the roof of the net. As good as it gets and one that firmly placed Giggs into football folklore.

Accidental assist (1999)

In the biggest of games on the grandest of stages, Giggs may not have got on the scoresheet in the Champion League final against Bayern Munich but he epitomised the never-say-die attacking spirit of that Ferguson vintage.

With the clock ticking down and United toiling in search of an equaliser, Giggs’ last attempt on goal was deflected off target, allowing super sub Teddy Sheringham to stroke in the equaliser on that most famous of footballing comeback nights.

A perfect ton against Chelsea (2002)

Giggs has a habit of marking special celebrations and making milestones count. Here, the midfield maestro dashed into the box to salvage a draw for the Red Devils, with a sublime first-time strike at Stamford Bridge to make it 2-2 on the night. Oh, it also happened to be his 100th career goal, not a bad way to net a century.

Brilliant brace bagged against Juve (2003)

Back to haunt Juventus with panache, Giggs poached a deadly double, again on enemy turf, as United put five past the Old Lady over two legs in the Champions League last 16.

The highlight? Another dazzling solo dash from just inside the Red Devils’ half of the pitch, after picking off now Italy and imminent Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s poor pass, before a perfect low finish.

Penalty prowess (2008)

Talk about composure. Giggs may only have arrived as am 87th minute substitute for Manchester United’s memorable night in Moscow, for the 2008 Champions League final with Chelsea, but he made his minutes count.

As the night ended with the Russian roulette of a spot-kick shoot-out, Giggs grabbed the glory with what ended up the winning pen to deliver United the trophy on the 50th anniversary of the Munich Disaster. Apt.

Managerial madness (2014)

Following David Moyes being given the boot, Man Utd turned to trusty player-coach Giggs to steady the ship for the remainder of the season.

In what was a series of proud moments, as interim gaffer, Giggs won two of his four games, also handing debuts to academy products James Wilson (who bagged a brace) and fellow Welshman Tom Lawrence, for whom he subbed himself on.

Will Giggs find himself back in charge in the future to give the next gaggle of graduates their memorable moments? Mourinho’s reign has now begun, but the Welshman may yet return some day to take up his seat in the Old Trafford dugout.


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Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.