Ryan Giggs retires: Giggs announces retirement from playing career after being appointed Louis van Gaal's No 2 at Manchester United
Gigg's bring the curtain does on an illustrious 23-year career with United
Monday 19 May 2014
Ryan Giggs has announced his retirement as a player following his appointment as assistant manager to new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal.
The 40-year-old made public his decision to hang up his boots in an open letter published on United's website.
Giggs is the most decorated player in United's history having won 34 trophies in a career which saw him make 963 appearances for his only club.
Read more: Giggs announces his retirement
Van Gaal set to name RVP United captain
Who is Louis van Gaal?
Giggs, who made his first-team debut at the age of 17 in 1991 and also earned 64 caps for Wales, said: "My dream was always to play for Manchester United, and although it saddens me to know I won't be pulling on a United jersey again as a player, I have been lucky enough to have fulfilled that dream playing with some of the best players in the world, working under an incredible manager in Sir Alex Ferguson, and most of all, playing for the greatest fans in world football."
Giggs' honours included 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League successes.
He has served as a player-coach over the past year and took over as interim manager for the final four games of last season after the sacking of David Moyes.
United were thought to be keen to retain his services in a coaching capacity and his future is believed to have been a key part of negotiations with Van Gaal.
Giggs said: "For me, today is a new chapter filled with many emotions - immense pride, sadness, but most of all, excitement towards the future.
"United fans I hope will share and echo my belief that the club, the management and owners, are doing everything they can to return this great club to where it belongs, and I hope to be there every step of the way.
"To the greatest fans in world football, thank you, I have loved every minute of playing for you and representing the biggest and best club in the world."
Giggs, who came through United's youth ranks and was a member of their famous 'Class of '92' group of FA Youth Cup winners, was one of the finest players of his era.
United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: "Ryan Giggs has been one of the greatest players ever to wear the red shirt of Manchester United.
"What he has achieved will never be equalled in the English game.
"In the way he played, he was the embodiment of a Manchester United player - fast, skilful, entertaining and determined to win by playing exciting football.
Read more: Van Gaal's United transfer targets
Woodward promises to spend in transfer window
Cole backs experienced Van Gaal
"His progress from the ranks of the famous 'Class of '92' to the most decorated player in this or any club's history is down to his hard work, ability and attitude.
"He is at the start of an exciting new chapter in his and the club's life but now is the right moment to reflect on the achievements of the finest British player of the last 25 years."
Latest in Sport
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget that fateful day in Belgium
Revealed: The most unwatchable Premier League teams of the 2014/15 season
Paul Scholes column: With Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Michel Platini to consider pulling England and other Uefa members out of the World Cup if Sepp Blatter wins Fifa election
- 1 10 ways we damage our teeth – without realising
- 2 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 3 iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
- 4 Photo of wedding guest proposing to girlfriend in front of bride and groom goes viral
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: it's just gravity — not a Mexican demon being summoned
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'