Ryan Giggs closed one chapter of his football career - the epic, decades-spanning story of him as a player - on the same day he started a new one, as Manchester United’s new assistant manager.
That day, Monday 19 May 2014, came nearly a fortnight after Giggs made what proved to be his final appearance on the field - in the Reds’ 3-1 win over Hull City at Old Trafford. At that time he was serving with a dual purpose, playing as a substitute but also managing the first team temporarily. The aptitude Ryan showed in his four-match stint in charge, and the knowledge he had amassed as a player at the club since 1990, made him an ideal right-hand man for new boss Louis van Gaal.
Had van Gaal arrived at Old Trafford in a previous year, he would have had the pleasure of selecting Giggs on his team sheet. The type of player he would have utilised would depend on the year in question - in more than two decades, Ryan adapted and evolved his style from daring and dashing tormentor of full-backs to latterly a calming influence in midfield with a sharp eye for a pass.
By 2013/14, his legs may have lost their explosive acceleration but his brain remained ahead of many a younger rival and his ability to produce