Ryan became a professional player aged 17 in December 1990, having been scouted personally at the age of 14 by Sir Alex Ferguson whilst at Manchester City’s School of Excellence.
He burst onto the soccer scene and was quickly labelled the new George Best with the The London Evening Standard said he had “single-handedly revolutionised football’s image” when he appeared as a teenager “with pace to burn, a bramble patch of black hair bouncing around his puppy popstar face and a dazzling, gluey relationship between his impossibly fleet left foot and a football.”
He became the first player in history to win two consecutive PFA Young Player of the Year awards.
His record is astounding – with Manchester United having made 963 appearances way surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton’s 758 and scored 168 goals.
In European competitions he made 157 appearances scoring 29 goals.
As a Wales International, he made 64 appearances and scored 12 Goals.
He was proud to never have been sent off in his 24-season playing career for Manchester United.
Giggs announced his retirement from professional football in May 2014.
The greatest FA Cup goal ever?
Well, that’s open to debate but one thing for sure is that the clip to the side has gone down as one of the greatest goals ever.
In 1999, Manchester United versus Arsenal was the rivalry that really mattered in English football. Only a point separated the two sides at the top of the Premier League going into the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park. There was nothing at all between them over 120 minutes first time around either. Three days later, on April 14th 1999, United and Arsenal had to do it all over again.
Yet again the teams found themselves in extra time and Manchester United found themselves down to 10 men repelling attack after attack from Arsenal.
Afterwards, Giggs said “It wasn’t until I got back and watched it back that I realised I had beaten that many men,” he explained. “It was pure adrenaline.”
Manchester United went on to complete a sensational treble by beating Bayern Munich in even more dramatic circumstances.
So take a look and we’ll let you decide for yourself!
Off the pitch
In 2013, Ryan and former playing colleague Gary Neville launched a hospitality company named GG Hospitality.
He was awarded the OBE for services to football in 2007, Honorary Master of Arts degree from Salford University for contributions to football and charity work in developing countries as an ambassador for UNICEF UK and given the Freedom of the City of Salford in 2010.
Most recently Ryan was appointed manager of the Wales national team on 15 January 2018.