Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs made his debut for the club in March 1991 and he will keep on going during the 2012-13 season. The 38-year-old Welshman has signed a one-year contract and that will will enable him to play a 22nd successive season at Old Trafford. No other player has donned the United shirt more than Giggsy -- 898 appearances -- and during that time, he has hauled winner's medals for 2 European Cups, 12 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 1 Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup, and one FIFA Club World Cup. He is also the only player since the inception of the Premier League to have scored in every season since it's existence. Here is what Giggs had to say about his contract extension:
"When I signed my first contract, I never thought I’d be able to play at United for 22 years, but I feel good and I know I can still contribute to keeping the team pushing for honours. Winning the club’s 19th title was a great feeling but this club is all about what we do next and I’m really pleased I can be part of that."
- Giggs | Source: ManUtd.com
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had this to say about his legendary player:
"Ryan is a marvellous player. In many ways, he epitomises all my teams here at United: he has constantly re-invented himself, adapted to the changing nature of the game and retained that desire and hunger for success. In every training session and match, he is the example for others to follow. The young players in the dressing room have a great chance to learn from a player who will continue to break records that anyone in the game will find hard to beat."
- Ferguson | Source: ManUtd.com
Fergie also had this to say earlier in the week in regards to Giggs deserving a new deal -- I think the Gaffer is also advocating for us all to do yoga...:
"I think it's a miracle. His form this season has been the same as the last five or six years, to be honest with you. His fitness is incredible. He's unique. When he started doing yoga, that helped him alleviate the problems he had with his hamstring and the spasms that were related to his back. When he started taking yoga, all that disappeared."
- Ferguson | Source: MUTV
United striker Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) expressed his delight over this news as well:
"It is unbelievable news. Ryan is a great player. He is a legend here. He is a very good example for football players all over the world, not only those at this club. We are delighted about it. Of course you learn from him. It doesn't matter that I'm a striker and he isn't."
- Chicharito | Source: ManUtd.com
As Fergie mentions, Giggs has 're-invented' himself. Not many in the long history of this grand sport have brought the level of quality of the Welshman near the left touchline. For most of his career, he mazed and dashed his way around helpless defenders as a match-winning left-winger. In recent seasons, Giggs has drifted towards the middle where he now uses craft and guile to dictate games as a central-midfielder. Perhaps the best example of his recent contributions in the center of the park is the wonderful partnership he formed last season with Michael Carrick for the run-in -- a stretch of games that saw him terrorize Europe in the Champions League and it ultimately led to being selected for United's starting XI for their most recent final in May. The midfielder's health is closely monitored but when fit, he provides fantastic squad depth for a club that typically has a congested fixture list throughout a season -- and when in form, he still contends to be first-choice. Beyond that, the legend provides invaluable leadership to the United squad.
How do you feel about Giggsy returning for another season -- at the least? What are your fondest memories of him? Feel free to let us know in the comments sections below.