Yes­ter­day once more

Man United leg­end Ryan Giggs turns 37 next week but he looks as un­stop­pable as ever.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FOOTBALL - by m. veeRa PaNdiyaN

There’s only one player who has made the most ap­pear­ances for Manch­ester United, scored the most Premier­ship goals and won the most league ti­tles ever.

Amaz­ingly, ryan Joseph Giggs, who turns 37 on Nov 29, still re­mains a key player for Manch­ester United – his one and only club.

he’s best re­mem­bered for his dart­ing runs along the flanks, leav­ing flus­tered de­fend­ers in the wake al­though to­day its his re­silience, sub­lime skills and sense of tim­ing which keep him dy­namic.

United’s most dec­o­rated hero, who has played in more than 800 games and won 23 medals in 20 years at Old Traf­ford, does not quite look like he is about to hang up his boots.

As sir Alex Fer­gu­son said dur­ing Gigg’s last birth­day, the Welsh Wizard might yet be good for an­other sea­son.

Birth­days have al­ways been mo­men­tous for Giggs. he joined the club on his 14th in 1987 and be­came pro­fes­sional when he turned 17 three years later.

since then, he has more than proven to be one of the best play­ers with records that are hard to match.

he was named Pro­fes­sional Foot­ballers’ As­so­ci­a­tion Player of the Year in 2009, a lon­gover­due ac­co­lade.

he won the young player’s award twice, in 1992 and 1993 – the first to win the award in con­sec­u­tive years. (rob­bie Fowler and Wayne rooney have since matched the feat).

Giggs is the only non-striker who has scored the high­est num­ber of goals in Premier League games and holds United’s fastest goal on record - 15 sec­onds.

Along with fel­low Welsh­man Gary speed, he is also one of two play­ers to have scored in ev­ery Premier­ship sea­son and the first player in Cham­pi­ons League his­tory to score in 12 suc­ces­sive years.

But more than be­ing a ex­tremely gifted foot­baller, Giggs is per­haps the only United player who has sup­port­ers from ri­vals clubs in­clud­ing Arse­nal, Chelsea and Liver­pool (no, not Manch­ester City where he orig­i­nally trained as a boy, be­fore he was fa­mously lured away by Fer­gu­son).

his hu­mil­ity, cour­tesy and de­cency, both on and off the pitch are the main rea­sons.

Giggs has col­lected the fewest of yel­low cards among play­ers of his age and has never been sent off while play­ing for United.

he was shown red only once - when play­ing for Wales. even on that oc­ca­sion, it was not a straight red but for a sec­ond yel­low.

he has stood apart as a cool-headed, ma­ture gen­tle­man, in a sport in­fa­mous for crude be­hav­iour and sex scan­dals.

Giggs, who mar­ried his long-time part­ner stacey Cooke in 2007 and has two chil­dren with her - Lib­erty Beau, seven and Zach Joseph, four - is a UNICeF rep­re­sen­ta­tive deeply in­volved in causes AIDs aware­ness in Africa, cam­paigns against land­mines and racism.

As a child, he was taunted in school be­cause his fa­ther, Danny Wil­son, then a pro­fes­sional rugby player, was an im­mi­grant from sierra Leone.

his par­ents sep­a­rated when he was 13 and he later took on his mother’s sur­name.

De­spite his low pro­file, Giggs achieved much as a celebrity, even very early in his ca­reer.

Long be­fore the likes of David Beck­ham or Cris­tiano ron­aldo, he was al­ready a foot­ball poster boy, tagged as “Boy Won­der” by the tabloids and be­ing com­pared to the likes of (the late) Ge­orge Best, Johan Cryuff and Diego Maradona

There is no ques­tion of his still im­mense mar­ketabil­ity.

he has been fea­tured in ads for ree­bok, so­vil Ti­tus, Cit­i­zen, Givenchy, Fuji, Patek Phillipe, Quorn Burg­ers and Cel­com.

Cur­rently, Giggs is the face for swiss lux­ury watch brand CYMA in China, hong Kong, Ma­cau, Tai­wan, singapore, Thai­land and Malaysia.

Ac­cord­ing to stephan Ciep­lik, a for­mer Ger­man pro­fes­sional who is To­tal sports Asia’s con­sul­tant for the en­dorse­ment deal, the brand’s dis­trib­u­tors, City Chain Co Ltd of hong Kong had ini­tially planned for only one year but sales have been so good that the com­pany quickly ex­tended the deal to se­cure Giggs for an­other year.

There is still a lot of de­mand for Giggs around the world as he is such great am­bas­sador for the beau­ti­ful game.

This liv­ing leg­end has con­sis­tently rein­vented him­self as a player to be­come foot­ball’s per­fect role model. Per­haps the ul­ti­mate trib­ute was by Ge­orge Best, United idol of the 1960s who once said: “One day they might even say that I was an­other ryan Giggs”

Pen­blwydd Ha­pus (happy Birth­day), ryan Giggs.

Power up!: The Welsh wizard still go­ing strong in the big league.

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