Updated: Tuesday, 7th April 2020 @ 8:10am

Red Devils welcomed 'to hell' in first Galatasaray visit, claims Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs

Red Devils welcomed 'to hell' in first Galatasaray visit, claims Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs

By Dean Wilkins

At 38 years old, Ryan Giggs may be forgiven for needing his eight hours – but during Manchester United’s first tie against Galatasaray the team were welcomed ‘to hell’ and sleep was just a dream.

The Welshman recalled the Reds trip to Turkey in 1993 ahead of their Champions League tie at Old Trafford tomorrow.

And the veteran winger will be hoping that raucous fans and sabotage attempts do not get in the way of their main goal – to qualify into the knockout stage.

"I remember it [the whole experience] vividly,” Giggs told the club’s official website. “It's one of those memories that will always stick with you.

“When we arrived at the airport, there were all the banners and thousands of fans screaming at you.

"There were things thrown at us when we were driving away on the coach, fans outside the hotel chanting all night making sure we didn't get any sleep and people phoning the hotel rooms. It had everything.

"But they were a good team and a good club. It is a fantastic game to be involved in, especially away from home. It is an atmosphere a lot of the lads won't have witnessed before.

And despite a teenage Giggs relishing in the prospect of European football, the intimidating atmosphere and wild fans were an important experience to learn from.

"The atmosphere back then was something I tried to enjoy as much as I could," Giggs added. "The manager told us to go on the pitch and sample the atmosphere.

“The fans had been in the ground for hours and hours so it was buzzing 90 minutes before kick-off.

"We were stood in the middle of the pitch watching the fans chant. It was one stand to another. It was a brilliant atmosphere if I am honest but obviously the game didn't pan out the way we wanted.

“They were a good team then and they will be a good team now."

With comfortable opposition in Galatasaray, Cluj and FC Braga propping up Group H, United are determined to make up for last years’ humiliation and poor home record.

And the club’s most-seasoned player insists that only victory will be accepted.

"We need to win our home games and perform at home," Giggs added. "We usually say ten or more points gets you through so if you win your home games and try and draw away from home, you are usually through.

"We didn't manage it last year and didn't perform at Old Trafford the way we have done in the past. We want to try and rectify that."

And the addition of European troupers Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa have bolstered the first team’s spirit and the goals should flurry for the Reds.

"Robin has the experience of playing in Europe with Arsenal,” Giggs said. “The goals he has got will hopefully give us that extra edge this season.

"Shinji is that kind of player who will thrive in Europe, where possession is key. He keeps the ball. He gets into positions where he is hard to pick up.

“I am sure they will both be good additions."

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.