Sunday, 26 February 2012

Who the hell is Ryan Giggs?

These days people make so much fuss about Giggsy, yet it wasn't always like that.  Not for the first 10 years at least.

Whilst he was liked in those early days, he certainly wasn't hero worshipped from the outset. Not by the fans nor the media.

He was fast but still lacked vision, light on his feet but easy to knock over. And he was annoyingly prone to injury. He rarely played for Wales - in fact he was largely disliked in Wales because SAF usually withdrew him (injured....again).

He wasn't even the female fans choice, not with Lee Sharpe on the scene.

He's always seemed to be in someone else's shadow.  Beckham took better corners, Kanchelskis was faster, Ronaldo had quicker feet, Scholes was smarter.

But whilst they all took the credit, Ryan was quietly working away in the background, pulling out those moments of brilliance to remind us he was there.

My two personal favourites are two of the biggest of his career. The 97/98 winner against Juventus at home in the Champions League and that unbelievable FA Cup replay goal against Arsenal in 99.

I was there for both.

So with 900 Utd games under his belt, these days he's lauded for playing so brilliantly at 38, something he puts down to yoga. He's rarely injured, he can actually cross the ball and he finally gave Wales a good run, being part of the team that almost made it.

We all have a footballing hero and mine will always be Bryan Robson. But in the early 90s as his career began to fade, the welsh wizard had already began to make his mark on the pitch (and on my player cam!)
He tracks back, he works hard, he quietly inspires all around him.  He could have played for England but he chose to play for Wales.

He should have played for Brazil.