Ryan Giggs does not stop accumulating records: the Manchester United player overtook Raul the former Real Madrid star. Last Wednesday, becoming the player with the most appearances in the history of the Champions League / Champions Cup with 145 appearances.
But the records, as mentioned, are many: more than 750 official matches with United, more than 1,000 professional matches in all competitions and with all jerseys (above all, beyond that of the Red Devils, that of the Welsh national team ), the player with the most appearances in the history of the Premier, 37 trophies won including 13 championships and so on.
So, given that the Welshman will turn 40 at the end of November, let’s try to draw up a ranking of five Ryan Giggs goals worth remembering in more than twenty years of his career.
1. Tottenham 1-1 Manchester United (19 September 1992, Premier League)
1992 is the first year of the Premier League, just founded after the dissolution of the historic First Division.
Manchester United has not won the league since 1967. Alex Ferguson is starting his seventh season on the Old Trafford bench, having posted an FA Cup, a League Cup, a Cup Winners’ Cup, and a European Super Cup, but none yet. Scudetto (the year before he had to surrender to Leeds, finishing second due to a collapse in the championship final, with three defeats in four games).
Ryan Giggs made his debut a couple of seasons earlier, at 17. now he is 19 and since the year before he has been the owner on the left. The championship starts badly: they lose the first two games and draw the third, falling to the third last place in the standings.
Then, however, five consecutive victories allow the Red Devils to move up the rankings and present themselves at White Hart Lane from third in the rankings. United takes the lead in the 45th minute with this great goal typical of Giggs, who steals the ball on the three quarters, gets rid of the defender with a tunnel, discards the goalkeeper, and bags from a tight angle.
The Manchester team will then be joined by a goal from Gordon Durie and will continue to survive until the end of December, when, with the arrival of Eric Cantona from Leeds, they will definitely attack the top of the standings, winning the first championship of the Ferguson era.
2. Queens Park Rangers – Manchester United 2-3(February 5, 1994, Premier League)
The third season as a starter for Ryan Giggs and second consecutive Scudetto, also embellished by the conquest of the FA Cup and the final in the League Cup (even if in the Champions Cup the team goes out in the second round with Galatasaray).
In February ’94, when United visits Queens Park Rangers, Ferguson’s team has been at the top of the table for 24 consecutive rounds and sets out to take the title by a wide margin. The QPR, on the other hand, is a decent team that the year before finished in fifth place and now continues to survive in the upper half of the standings.
At the Loftus Road a good match is staged, full of goals: in the first half, the Reds immediately take the lead with the Russian Andrei Kanchelskis, reached in the final time by Clive Wilson’s goal and then immediately back in the lead, one minute later, with Cantona’s goal.
In the second fraction, the game is then closed by this goal by Giggs after a quarter of an hour, again with a stolen ball on the three quarters, a dribble, a great acceleration all on the left, and the shot to cross. Ten minutes later, Les Ferdinand’s goal was useless for the hosts.
3. Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United(April 14, 1999, FA Cup semi-final)
Let’s step back in time and arrive in April 1999. United have won four championships in the last six years but lost the title the year before to Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal, who also won the FA Cup.
Various young talents have matured in the team: in addition to Giggs, 24-year-old Gary Neville, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, and 22-year-old Phil Neville now often play as owners.
In the championship, the head-to-head is with the reigning champion Arsenal (with Chelsea of Luca Vialli as coach-player and Gigi Casiraghi, Roberto Di Matteo and Gianfranco Zola to act as the third wheel), a head-to-head ended with the victory of the United with one point ahead of Arsenal and four over Chelsea.
But also in the FA Cup, the challenge is exciting because United meets first Liverpool and then Chelsea and Arsenal: with the first ones they draw 0-0 at home but manage, in the replay at Stamford Bridge, to win 2-0. With the seconds in the semifinals on a neutral field (at Villa Park) he stops at a 0-0 and, in the replay three days later, manages to win 2-1 in extra time.
A very tight race
The match is very balanced and is the symbol of the whole season, in which two teams compete substantially on an equal footing on all fronts. to decide it is Ryan Giggs, entered from the bench, who scores what is unanimously considered his best goal, at the Maradona, ten minutes from the end of extra time.
The team will then also beat Newcastle in the final and win, in a more unique than rare treble, even the Champions League with the incredible final in Barcelona and the two goals in injury time by Sheringham and Solksjaer to overturn Bayern Munich’s advantage.
4. Juventus – Manchester United 0-3 (February 25, 2003, Champions League)
The 2002/03 season is a year of changes: the year before the team has collected the worst (so to speak) placement in 10 years, that is the third place in the league. the defense changes, with the arrival of Rio Ferdinand and the farewell of Laurent Blanc at the end of the season.
It is also Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s best season, scoring 44 goals in all competitions. And it is, finally, David Beckham’s farewell season before moving to Real Madrid.
In the championship, the start is sluggish (in mid-September they are tenths). But from December begins a climb that will culminate in mid-April with the conquest of the top of the standings, then more abandoned. In the Champions League, however, the race ends in the quarter-finals against Real Madrid.
however, United meets Juventus, then a finalist together with Milan at Old Trafford (it was the year of the great Italian triumph, with three homegrown teams in the semifinals): and in the second match, a Turin won 3-0 thanks to a brace from Giggs (especially the second goal, exploiting a mistake by Conte) and a goal from Van Nistelrooy.
5. West Ham United – Manchester United 0-1(8 February 2009, Premier League)
United in 2008/09 is a completely different team from those we have presented so far, if not for a few fixed points: Ferguson on the bench and Giggs, Scholes, and Phil Neville often (though not always) on the pitch. The year before they won the Scudetto and the Champions League (on penalties with Chelsea) and now they are called to confirm.
The team is now owned by Cristiano Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez, Van der Sar, Berbatov, and the main rival, after Mourinho’s farewell to the Premier, finds him in the Liverpool of Rafa Benitez and Fernando Torres.
In the league, as often happens, the start is not the best: in the first four games United collects only five points, but then begins a recovery that culminates in mid-January. At the beginning of February, the team goes to London, at Upton Park, to face West Ham, in an always complicated match.
Giggs decides it in the 62 minutes with an extraordinary goal: he receives on the left, out of the way. Then with dry dribbling, he enters the area, with another dribbling he concentrates and, with his right hand, he bags, letting the ball pass between the legs of many opponents.
At the end of the season, United will win their third consecutive championship in addition to the League Cup and the Fifa World Cup. in the Champions League final, after eliminating the eternal rivals Arsenal, they will have to surrender in Rome to Messi’s Barcelona, Eto’o, Henry and Guardiola.
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