Giggs tips Barry to reach 700 games

Observer on Saturday - - Sport - AFP AFP

ANCHESTER-Manch­ester

MUnited leg­end Ryan Giggs has tipped Gareth Barry to reach 700 Pre­mier League ap­pear­ances, with the for­mer Eng­land mid­fielder on the brink of match­ing the Welsh­man's all-time record.

Barry is set to equal Giggs's record of 632 games when West Brom host West Ham today.

The 36-year-old looked likely to fall short of the mark af­ter los­ing his start­ing place at Ever­ton last sea­son, lead­ing to spec­u­la­tion he could drop down to the Cham­pi­onship with for­mer club As­ton Villa.

In­stead, Barry landed a move to the Hawthorns and is still play­ing a key role for the Bag­gies, who sit com­fort­ably in mid-table af­ter an en­cour­ag­ing start to the sea­son.

Giggs, who spent his en­tire ca­reer at Manch­ester United, played un­til he was 40 and feels Barry has plenty more left in the tank.

The Welsh­man, who also made 40 ap­pear­ances in the old first di­vi­sion, said he ad­mired Barry's longevity.

"Ob­vi­ously a lot of things have got to go for you.

You've got to get picked, and you've got to be fit be­cause it's a lot of games," he said.

"I don't know him well but you can see from the out­side that he is a good pro, he looks a good player to have within the team and within the squad. "And he's not that old. He could go on for an­other two or three years and maybe get to 700. He'll break my record and credit to him, records are there to be bro­ken.

"I re­mem­ber com­ing up against him as a 17-year-old at Villa. He was a left-back then and he has come on from that tal­ented young player to be­come a reg­u­lar Pre­mier League player."

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