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

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.

Read more: Giggs' open letter in full
Ryan Giggs factfile

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."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
Sport
footballLive blog: Follow the action from the Capital One Cup semi-final
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century