Ryan Giggs could be trailblazer for veterans

 

Evergreen Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs believes there will be more Premier League players extending their careers into the late 30s and beyond due to the rapid advancement in sports' science.

A long-time practitioner of yoga, Giggs is heading rapidly towards his 900th United appearance and even though he has already passed his 38th birthday, there is an increasing likelihood he will sign another contract extension for next season.

Currently, Giggs' former United team-mate Teddy Sheringham holds the record for the oldest outfield player in Premier League history, having made his final appearance for West Ham in December 2006, 95 days short of his 41st birthday.

Going further back, there have been odd instances of over-50s turning out, with Sir Stanley Matthews being the most obvious example.

Giggs feels it is stretching it a bit to believe that feat could be emulated.

However, additional research into nutrition, better management of injuries and greater emphasis on the quality of training all help to prolong careers.

"I don't think 50 but you will probably find a lot more players in their late 30s or even their 40s if they look after themselves," the veteran Welshman told MUTV.

"Even though the game is getting quicker, you still need players with a good brain. Yes, there are still quicker players around but that quickness of the brain gives you an extra yard."

The great unknown for any player is their inner desire to keep pushing themselves through every pre-season, which even Giggs admits can be a struggle, and training session so they can deliver the best performances possible on matchday.

And, a bit like manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Giggs gets that from the challenge presented by an ever-growing list of younger team-mates.

"You have to remain motivated, otherwise you get swept away," he said.

"You have to raise your game or you are not contributing and become a waste of time.

"It's not just about performing in games but also in training.

"You have to keep going up a level, no matter what age you are."

It is one of the reasons why Giggs cannot put a date on his retirement, especially now Paul Scholes has returned to the fray, having decided coaching does not fulfil him in anything like the same manner as being on the pitch for real.

"I don't know how long I can keep playing for," said Giggs.

"As long as I am enjoying it and still contributing to the team, not making a fool of myself in training or games.

"I still want to perform and I still want to enjoy it.

"If you are not playing well or feel you are coming up short in training, that is the time to hang up your boots."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss