Name for the future

"I awaited more progress from willowy Ryan Wilson but was then surprised to read of 'the new John Barnes' emerging at Old Trafford and his name was Ryan Giggs. Initially, I mistakenly thought there were two of these wonder-kids in United's youth system but just one turned out to be far more than enough."

-'s Adam Marshall

29/11/2013 07:32, Report by Adam Marshall
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Blog: Glorious Giggs

to seal another title, with a trip to Moscow to relish on the horizon. It was on that memorable rainy night in Russia that he passed Sir Bobby Charlton's appearance record. For good measure, he also converted a penalty in the successful shoot-out with nerveless precision.

That would have been the most fitting of finales. A fairytale ending to a glittering career. Certainly, when he scored at Wigan, that was what I was feeling. I had even placed a bet on him to be last goalscorer as there seemed a poetic inevitability about it - even though he was named as substitute. I steeled myself for the end, knowing it would be emotional. Yet, five years on, he is arguably playing even better than he was back then. After another fine performance by Giggs this week against Bayer Leverkusen, Wayne Rooney commented that he had run out of things to say about his veteran team-mate. It is easy to endorse that view because there are not too many more accolades that can be paid to a man with 794 starts for United and a further 159 substitute appearances.

Let's continue to enjoy Ryan's talents while we can. Although he seems to be determined to prove us all wrong, he cannot go on forever and there will be a time when we come to terms with the fact that Giggs is no longer working his magic out on the field. Having been lucky enough to see so much of his enduring brilliance, he gives us hope that a player of similar class will one day rise through the ranks again. It is one of the reasons why we follow football so ardently. However, if we are to ever see somebody of his ilk, I'll be a pensioner at the very least by the time he matches Giggs' feats. 

The opinions expressed in this article are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Manchester United FC.

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