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Ryan Giggs


Ryan Joseph Giggs, OBE (born Wilson; born 29 November 1973) is a Welsh football coach and former player. He is the manager of the Wales national team and a co-owner of Salford City. He played his entire professional career for Manchester United, and briefly served as Manchester United's interim manager.

Giggs also has a number of personal achievements. He was the first player in history to win two consecutive PFA Young Player of the Year awards (1992 and 1993), though he did not win the PFA Player of the Year award until 2009. He was the only player to play in each of the first 22 seasons of the Premier League, as well as the only player to score in each of the first 21 seasons. He was elected into the PFA Team of the Century in 2007, the Premier League Team of the Decade in 2003, as well as the FA Cup Team of the Century. Giggs holds the record for the most assists in Premier League history, with 271. He was named as BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2009. In addition to the many honours Giggs has received within football, he was appointed an OBE in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours List for his services to football.

He spent much time with his mother's parents and playing football and rugby league on the roads outside their house in Pentrebane. In 1980, when Giggs was six years old, his father switched from rugby union to rugby league, and signed for Swinton RLFC, forcing the whole family to move north to Swinton, a town in Salford, Greater Manchester. The move was a traumatic one, as Giggs was very close to his grandparents in Cardiff, but he would often return there with his family at weekends or on school holidays.

Giggs broke into the first team even though he was still aged only 17, and paved the way as the first of many Manchester United youth players to rise into the first team under Ferguson. As the youngest member of the United first-team squad, Giggs looked to the older players such as Bryan Robson for advice. Robson recommended that Giggs sign up with Harry Swales, the agent that he himself had inherited from Kevin Keegan.

Giggs proved to be a scorer of great goals, with many of them being shortlisted for various Goal of the Season awards. Widely regarded as among his best were those against Queens Park Rangers in 1993, Tottenham in 1994, Everton in 1995, Coventry in 1996, and his solo effort against Arsenal in the replay of the 1999 FA Cup semi-final. During extra time, Giggs picked up possession after Patrick Vieira gave the ball away, then ran from his own half, dribbled past the whole Arsenal back line, including Tony Adams, Lee Dixon and Martin Keown before launching his left-footed strike just under David Seaman's bar and beyond his reach. He famously whipped off his shirt during his goal celebration as he ran over to his teammates. It also has the distinction of being the last ever goal scored in an FA Cup semi-final replay as, from the following season, the FA Cup semi-finals are decided in a single game, with extra time and a penalty shootout if required.

Giggs celebrated his 10-year anniversary at Old Trafford with a testimonial match against Celtic at the start of the 2001–02 campaign, losing 4–3 in a game featuring a cameo by Eric Cantona. However, this was one of the most disappointing seasons United had endured since Giggs made his debut, as a dismal run of form in early winter ultimately cost them the league title and they were surprisingly knocked out of the Champions League on away goals in the semi finals by German underdogs Bayer Leverkusen. A year later, on 23 August 2002, he bagged his 100th career goal in a draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

On 12 September 2009, Giggs made his 700th start for United. Giggs scored his 150th goal for United, only the ninth player to do so for the club, against Wolfsburg in his first Champions League game of the season. On 28 November 2009, the eve of his 36th birthday, Giggs scored his 100th Premier League goal – all for Manchester United – scoring the final goal in a 4–1 victory over Portsmouth at Fratton Park, and becoming only the 17th player to reach the milestone in the Premier League.

Giggs was never sent off in his 24-season playing career for Manchester United and was only once sent off when playing for Wales, on 5 September 2001 in a World Cup qualifier against Norway; Giggs received a second yellow card in the 86th minute. In November 2003, he was found guilty of improper conduct by the FA due to his behaviour during the Battle of Old Trafford game against Arsenal (one of two United and six Arsenal players charged over the incident); Giggs received a 7,500 fine but avoided suspension. In the same week, Giggs received a two-match suspension from international football for deliberately elbowing Russian player Vadim Evseev in the face during the first leg of the Euro 2004 play-offs. The offence was missed by referee Lucilio Batista, but Giggs was later charged using video evidence.

In May 2011, it was reported in non-UK media sources that Giggs was the identity of CTB in CTB v News Group Newspapers, a footballer who had obtained an anonymised gagging order in relation to an alleged extra-marital affair with model Imogen Thomas. Giggs took legal action against the social networking site Twitter after he was named by a user in a list of identities of individuals who had allegedly taken out so-called "super-injunctions." A blogger for Forbes magazine remarked that Giggs had "not heard of the Streisand effect," observing that mentions of his name had increased significantly after the case against Twitter had been reported.