Champions League: Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs set to break European record against Shakhtar Donetsk
Welshman will break all-time appearance record if he features on Wednesday
Tuesday 01 October 2013
Manchester United's poor start to the season has left the club reeling and new boss David Moyes under scrutiny but Ryan Giggs will offer a reassuring presence when he reports for Champions League duty in Ukraine this week.
The 39-year-old Welshman trained at the club's Carrington training ground on Tuesday before boarding yet another plane to yet another European city.
Should Moyes turn to the evergreen midfielder on Wednesday against Shakhtar Donetsk, Giggs will register a record 145th appearance in Europe's premier competition (including qualifiers), moving him ahead of former Real Madrid striker Raul in the appearance list.
Giggs, who won 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues under former manager Alex Ferguson, is now part of Moyes's coaching staff but has plenty to offer on the pitch.
"Really? Wow. I didn't know that," was Giggs's reaction in an interview on the club's website when told of the milestone.
"It's a great competition and I've been lucky enough to win it twice and play a lot of memorable matches.
"There have been so many great players to have graced the tournament and Raul is up there as one of the very best - he has a great goalscoring record and he's won it three times."
"If I do pass him it will be a great source of pride for me," added Giggs, United's record appearance maker.
The records have piled up for Giggs down the years and with five appearances for United this season it is not inconceivable that he could reach 1,000 club games.
"I just can't believe he's nearly 40. In my playing days everyone just assumed you were finished when you reached 30, but there he is, still going strong," said United great Bobby Charlton, whose appearance record Giggs memorably surpassed in United's Champions League final win against Chelsea in 2008.
"As well as being a great player, Ryan is a terrific talker too, and that part of his game will be important now that he's part of the coaching staff.
"It's great he's still linked to the club."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Aston Villa preview: I need to prove myself again at Villa, says Scott Sinclair
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City, United want Gareth Bale
Chelsea vs Manchester City player ratings: David Silva saves the day but which City star stole the show at Stamford Bridge?
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
Serena Williams wins Australia Open 2015: American beats Maria Sharapova in straight sets to claim a sixth title in Melbourne
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election