Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.

Ryan Giggs's top team-mates XI

Tuesday 07 April 2020 07:00

Ryan Giggs played more times for Manchester United (963) than anybody else in the club's illustrious history.

Our record appearance-maker's spell in the first team spanned between 1991 and 2014 and many Reds, obviously, played alongside him in this period. But who were selected the most times to feature with the brilliant left-winger?

We’ve looked at the stats and put together a team based exactly on this, although some dispensation has been used to factor in positions and formation…
Watch Ryan Giggs's top 10 goals for the Reds.
Peter Schmeichel (297 games with Giggs)

It’s no surprise that Peter Schmeichel is between the sticks in this side. Giggsy actually lined up in an astonishing 75 per cent of all the games Big Pete played for United.

The goalkeeper with the second-highest appearances is Edwin Van der Sar (194), while David De Gea is third with 69 games together.
Gary Neville (436), Rio Ferdinand (328), Mikael Silvestre (277), Denis Irwin (350)

At right-back, Gary Neville is second in Giggsy’s tally of most games. Having come through the youth system together, the pair first played with each other in the senior side in 1993, with the last game coming in 2010. On the other flank, Ryan developed a superb relationship with Denis Irwin during his playing days, and the Irishman is the only team-mate in the side who featured during Giggsy’s first-team debut in March 1991.

At centre-back it’s Rio Ferdinand, who played alongside the winger in the 2008 Champions League final victory over Chelsea. His parter at the heart of defence is Michael Silvestre, the man who can boast the second-highest number of United appearances for a Frenchman.
Rio makes Ryan's excellent XI.

Nicky Butt (272), David Beckham (293), Roy Keane (371), Paul Scholes (479)

To form a viable team structure, we’ve gone for a diamond in the centre of the park. Three quarters of that midfield were part of famous ‘Class of 92’ side alongside Ryan. Unsurprisingly, Paul Scholes has more appearances than anyone else in this XI, and between them the duo have amassed 1681 first-team appearances for the Reds.

David Beckham and Nicky Butt - who played with Giggsy in the 1999 Champions League final - both make the team despite Ryan representing United for another decade after the pair departed in 2003 and 2004 respectfully.

Roy Keane finishes off this formidable midfield. Our former skipper has the highest total on Giggs’s list, for a player who didn’t come through our Academy, and with 371 joint appearances, he’s third in the overall standings.

Two of the greatest wingers in Premier League history.
Wayne Rooney (279), Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (245)

Wayne Rooney first played with Giggs in 2004, the latest date in this XI. Our all-time record goalscorer also netted the first of the eight goals United scored during Ryan’s brief stint as caretaker manager in 2014.

The final name on the teamsheet is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. With 245 games alongside Giggs, the Norwegian actually has the lowest tally in the side, but makes the XI as the five players above him in the list are all predominantly defenders.

Schmeichel; G.Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Irwin; Beckham, Keane, Butt, Scholes; Rooney, Solskjaer.
John O'Shea was unfortunate to miss out on this XI.

As previously mentioned this side is based on which players have lined up alongside Giggsy the most during his career. However, it has also been picked to ensure the team is a fully functioning side.

For that reason, John O’Shea has missed out, despite playing with Ryan on 275 occasions - 30 more times than Ole. Yet, with the midfield and defence already packed out, there’s no room for the ever-adaptable Irishman.

Phil Neville (268), Wes Brown (254) and Gary Pallister (251) are also in the same boat, while Patrice Evra (244), Michael Carrick (223) and Andy Cole (206) fill the final spots on the bench.

Often these teams are full of players who lined up alongside a Red at other sides, not just United, but for Giggsy that’s not really an option. However, having played 64 games for Wales and four for the Great British team at the 2012 Olympic Games, Ryan has played with a few Reds at two different team.

The highest tally of any such player is Mark Hughes, who shared a pitch with Ryan on 163 occasions, while the highest appearances for any non-Red is Gary Speed, who played with our record appearance holder 42 times.

Stats courtesy of

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