UNITED UNCOVERED

29/11/2013 16:43,

Ryan Giggs: The story of a phenomenon

Ryan Giggs' brilliance and longevity explained from five unique, insightful perspectives...

Gary Neville | Rio Ferdinand | Tony Strudwick | Phil Neville | Sam Johnstone

Logic-defying longevity - by Gary Neville

What Ryan has achieved will go down in the history of sport, not just football. He's a fantastic sportsman and will be mentioned whenever great sportspeople are talked about. He's defied logic in a changing environment when it comes to the physical aspects of football and has adapted his game through the decades. To play in the position he has for so long is incredible. A goalkeeper, full-back, centre-back, maybe a midfielder could do it, but for a winger to play until they're 40 is almost unheard of. You're into the Stanley Matthews bracket. Matthews played into his 50s, but this is a different era. For Ryan to do what he has done is the equivalent of Matthews' achievement. Ryan is a phenomenon.

What drives him on is his inner desire to continue his love for playing football. He has the physique to move with the times and has inner strength and a great physical capacity. This club is a big factor too. It's a special place and if he'd been at any other club it may not have happened. I don't see why he shouldn't continue next season - he still contributes large amounts to the team. A big thing about Ryan is he has retained a humility. He hasn't changed. He's still the same as he was when I first met him. He doesn't speak nearly as much as me, but he's become a real leader and has a big impact in the dressing room. His appetite to train well and work hard every day means others look up to him and learn.

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