Ryan Giggs will celebrate his 20 year anniversary of his professional debut tomorrow. In his 20 years at Manchester United, Giggs has proven himself to be one of the greatest wingers to ever play the game. He is the most decorated player in English Football history and has held the respect and admiration of millions of fans and players for years.
One thing that stands out about Giggs is his clean image. In a world where Beckham and C. Ronaldo have been the biggest faces of football, Ryan Giggs has quietly weaned himself off the public image. It is said that he was Beckham, before Beckham was Beckham. Giggs started for Manchester at age 17 and was a media darling, dating supermodels, etc. But sometime in the ’90’s he made a conscious decision to live differently.
Giggs on his approach to media- “I think it’s changed throughout my career, from first coming into the first-team, with a lot of the hype, celebrity girlfriends and photographers following you home and all over the place. Then I made a conscious decision that I didn’t really like it and just wanted to keep a low profile.”
Giggs on focusing on soccer- “I’ve tried to do that as much as I can, as much as you can do in this day and age really. As your career goes on you try to be as professional as you can. You’ve got to be, for as long as I’ve lasted, you’ve got to try to live your life the best you can.”
“But still you can shy away from that. If you live a relatively quiet life then you can concentrate on your football and just get on with it.”
Ryan Giggs made a personal decision to shy away from living the life of a Chad Ocho Cinco, a David Beckham or a Christiano Ronaldo. In turn, he has focused on living the best life he could and concentrating on his soccer.
The result? a twenty- year career with the greatest football team in the world.
Here’s to you, Ryan Giggs. We admire you, respect you and will always regard you as Manchester United’s greatest player ever and an example of professionalism.