The man has effortlessly collected his plaudits over the years, but even his most devout fans would have been awe-struck by the perennially incredible Ryan Giggs and his jaw-dropping performance in Sunday’s Manchester Derby.
Many pundits have been quick to suggest that all of United’s hopes this season rest on the young shoulders of Wayne Rooney, with some share of the burden falling onto those of the enigmatic Dimitar Berbatov.
But when one witnesses the dazzling quality Giggs still has in his locker, it reminds you why Sir Alex didn’t rush out to blow the £80 million resting in his back pocket from the Ronaldo deal.
The sublime skill the 35-year-old Welshman pulled off effortlessly against City bordered on the mystic.
His nutmeg on Shaun Wright-Phillips, followed by twisting Stephen Ireland inside out, and to then deliver a cross with glaring accuracy to the head of Berbatov? Marvellous.
Constantly toying with Micah Richards and literally leaving him dumped on the turf on more than one occasion? Sensational.
Having the composure to deliver a flawless through ball to the feet of Michael Owen in the 95th minute of a demanding match to seal the victory? Astounding.
Three impeccable assists? Remarkable.
You could go on for paragraphs, but you would quickly run out of superlatives to describe the splendour of his performance.
It boggles the mind to think how a man of Giggs’ age can still do it. Even Fergie has said that he didn’t think he has the legs for the physically-demanding role of a winger anymore.
But when you see him tearing teams to shreds and consistently delivering pinpoint crosses akin to his 20-year-old self of yesteryear, it is truly a testament to his dedication to the game.
Last season, we witnessed Ryan transform from mercurial winger to midfield general. Dictating the flow of the game from the middle, breaking up plays and bossing the midfield were not things you would associate with Giggs.
But in a season where Paul Scholes suffered from inconsistency for arguably the first time in his career and where Anderson went down with a severe case of second season syndrome, the Welshman stepped up and proved exactly why he is the best player to ever grace this wonderful league.
Giggs will not be able to have these games as consistently as he did 10 years ago—he turns 36 this year—but with Ferguson’s unquestionable man management skills and Ryan’s admirable perseverance and drive to succeed with Manchester United, there is still more to come.
The only other thing United fans have to worry about now is if that cloning technology is perfected by the time Giggs finally decides to set off into the sunset.
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