Ryan Giggs proved to be a vital cog in the Manchester United machine that built on and then surpassed the achievements of the early 1990s, culminating in the never-to-be-forgotten night in Barcelona when the Welshman played a crucial part in the quest for the incredible Treble.
Having claimed back-to-back Premiership titles, all eyes were on whether United could make it a hat-trick in 1994/95, but it was not to be and, in hindsight, the season proved to be a watershed moment. The Reds finished the league campaign just a point behind Blackburn, but crucially had been denied the services of not only Eric Cantona for the run-in, banned for clashing with a Crystal Palace fan in January, but also Giggs himself.
Injured and forced to miss the last six games of the season, Giggs was also on the sidelines as United were edged out 1-0 by Everton in the FA Cup final - the chance of a second double in a row had evaporated.
The departures of Paul Ince, Mark Hughes and Andrei Kanchelskis signalled the break-up of Sir Alex Ferguson’s first great United side, but 1995/96 witnessed the moulding of the next, with Giggs at its core. His 'Class of 92' team-mates were gradually establishing themselves, and so the Neville brothers, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Nicky Butt helped United capture another league and FA Cup double.
What made it all the sweeter were the comeback from 10 points behind to pip Newcastle to the title, beating Liverpool late on in a dour cup final, and the team demolishing TV pundit (and ex-Liverpool player) Alan Hansen’s