Midweek Sport - - SPORTS - By FRANK MCCAULEY

RIO FER­DI­NAND has ad­mit­ted he is lost in ad­mi­ra­tion for Manch­ester United team-mate Ryan Giggs.

Af­ter his out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to Satur­day’s 2-1 win over Liver­pool at Old Traf­ford, Giggs knows his next United ap­pear­ance will be his 900th.

It is an amaz­ing ef­fort from the 38-year-old, who has just been re­warded with a one-year con­tract ex­ten­sion that will take his stel­lar ca­reer into a stag­ger­ing 22nd sea­son.

And the most sur­pris­ing thing is that Giggs re­mains one of the fittest play­ers at United.

There was a point in the veteran Welsh­man’s ca­reer when it seemed he would be badly af­fected by ham­string prob­lems – but Giggs found the so­lu­tion with reg­u­lar yoga ses­sions.

The Liver­pool game was his 23rd ap­pear­ance of the sea­son.

And while it is highly likely that Giggs will not play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the two-legged Europa League clash with Ajax, by the time United re­sume their Premier League ti­tle quest at Nor­wich on Fe­bru­ary 26 he is cer­tain to be a ma­jor in­flu­ence once more.

Cen­tre-half Fer­di­nand said: “Ryan has been blessed with a tremen­dous physique.

“He is not car­ry­ing any weight, he’s not had any se­ri­ous in­juries and he man­ages him­self re­ally well.

“To have that many ap­pear­ances at one club is phe­nom­e­nal. Words just

EURO GI­ANTS: Fer­di­nand and Giggs cel­e­brate win­ning the Cham­pi­ons League in 2008

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