Ryan Giggs will carry on playing into his forties, says former Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville

 

Gary Neville does not believe the staggering achievements of Ryan Giggs will ever be beaten – and predicted that his long-time Manchester United team-mate could extend his career well into his forties.

Neville did not do too badly during his own playing days, collecting eight league titles and a Champions League winners' medal in a substantial trophy haul before quitting the game in the middle of last season.

Yet Neville knows he will always be overshadowed by Giggs, leader of that famed Class of '92 which spawned so many medal collectors. Should United go on to lift the Premier League title this term, it would be Giggs' 13th, extending his own record.

And as he continues to perform at such a high standard, Neville sees no reason why the 38-year-old cannot go on way beyond the additional season Sir Alex Ferguson has already got him to sign a contract for.

"Will we ever see his like again? No, no way," said Neville. "Ryan Giggs will go down as the most successful British footballer of all time and I cannot see anyone ever overtaking him. He's on the brink of his 13th league title, after all. When we were younger, we often heard about Alan Hansen's amazing eight championships with Liverpool. But what we are witnessing at the moment is greatness before our very eyes.

"Ryan is unique, he has surpassed all records in terms of domestic titles and he has incredible desire, quality and spirit. He's just fantastic to watch.

"You give up asking how long he could go on for. Why bother? When you see his quality and what a contribution he makes to the team why would he even think about it?

"Ryan is 38 years old, and he will contribute at the age of 42 if he wants to, the way his body is right now, the way his football is and the quality he still has."

Neville was speaking as part of a series of interviews carried out on behalf of the Premier League leading up to the end of its 20th season. Giggs is the only player left who has featured in them all, which in itself would make him a contender to be No 1. The fact he has remained at the highest level throughout just underlines the remarkable way Giggs has adapted his game.

"The best player in the history of the Premier League? It's got to be Ryan Giggs, no question at all," said Neville.

"He has constantly adapted his game. He went from being a flying winger in the early days to someone who could play off the front, to a central midfielder, and even to left-back if required. He can play anywhere and that's what really great players do: they adapt."

Of course, talent helps as well. And it was obvious Giggs had plenty of that the first time Neville saw him when the pair were schoolboys.

"Ryan has a God-given talent," said Neville. "I first played with him when I was 14. He's still the best young player I've ever seen. It's astonishing what he could do – the ball was tied to his feet and he could do everything at amazing pace.

"And, it's probably not the first thing you think of when you mention Ryan, but he's so tough mentally and physically very strong."

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Sport
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam