Sunday saw probably one of the most recognizable names in World Football pass yet another milestone. Yes, Ryan Giggs, Manchester United midfielder became the first English Player to play 900 games, for one club.
Now if you look at the English game in particular, who will find names that are synonymous with Legendary status, or even soon to be. But one can also look to other countries, and find players with similar records and I for one am in awe of their achievements.
Matthew Le Tissier (Southampton 540 Appearances), Paulo Maldini (AC Milan 900+), Francesco Totti (Roma 600+), Tony Adams (Arsenal 700+), Alesandro Del Piero (Juventus 680), Franco Baressi (AC Milan 700+), Guiseppe Bergomi (Internazionale 757), Billy McNeill (Celtic 800+), Rogerio Ceni (Sao Paulo 950+), Jack Charlton (Leeds 600+), Jimmy Armfield (Blackpool 600+), Paul Scholes & Gary Neville (Manchester United 600+) and Billy Wright (Wolverhampton Wanderes 541).
If you were a young and up and coming football player under the watchful eye of Sir Alex Ferguson, you would have dreamt of one day being mentioned in the same breath as all those great players before your time, in particular someone like Sir Bobby Charlton. Although he spent the most part of a glittering career at Manchester United, playing in total 758 games, he went on to manage then play at Preston North End and Waterford for just over 40 games in total.
Ryan Giggs started his playing career at United at the young age of 17. Now, over 20 years later, he has joined an elite club and one can now say that this is the stuff legends are made of. He made his 900th appearance for United against Norwich at the weekend, also scoring the winning goal in extra time. United fans all over the world are indebted to him, not just for his service to the club, but to his vision, and for always staying as humble through the years. Below is a list of achievements:
Has won a record 12 top division English league titles as a player, and only Manchester
United player to have winner’s medals from all 12 Premier League title wins.
Most Premier League appearances for a player, with 588.
Most Premier League assists (accurate records are only available from 2002 onwards)
Only player to have played and scored in every Premier League campaign.
Only player to have scored in sixteen different Champions League tournaments. (Includes
eleven consecutive tournaments, 1996–97 to 2006–07; only Raúl has a better record with 14.)
Most goals by a British player in the Champions League/European Cup proper history, and 14th overall (not including preliminary rounds).
Most appearances by a Manchester United player.
Most starts by a Manchester United player, started in757 games.
First player to score 100 Premier League goals for Manchester United.
Second midfielder to have scored 100 goals in the Premier League for a single club (first being Matt LeTissier).
One of four Manchester United players to win two Champions League Medals (others are Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Wes Brown).
Oldest (37 years, 289 days) player to score in the Champions League, when he scored against Benfica on 14 September 2011.
One of two Manchester United Players to win at least 10 Top division medals (the other one is Paul Scholes.)
OBE for services to football: 2007
Honorary Master of Arts degree from Salford University for contributions to football and
charity work in developing countries: 2008
Freedom of the City of Salford: 7 January 2010.He is the 22nd person to receive the
Freedom of the City of Salford.
Look there is still a lot more to add. All I wanted to prove was that Giggs was probably the most influential player in his time at United. Bear in mind, United has had a long list of great players, Beckham, Ince, Robson, Best, Keane, Cantona, Charlton, Schmeicel, Irvin, Sjolksjear, and so the list can go on. He has cemented his place as one of the best players to ever play the modern game, a pure example of how good management can get you far in life.