Some of the biggest names in world football past and present have paid tribute to Ryan Giggs after he was handed the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Welshman was handed the accolade at United’s Player of the Year ceremony last night, an illustrious career at Manchester United which has spanned more than two decades.
Footballing legends such as Pele, Alessandro Del Piero and Michel Platini joined former teammates including David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Bryan Robson in congratulating Giggs for his outstanding contribution to the beautiful game.
Giggs, who is currently interim player-manager of United, has spent 26 years at Old Trafford, and his former skipper Bryan Robson says nobody is more deserving of this accolade.
“Nobody deserves it more than you,” Robson told MUTV.
“You’ve had a fantastic career and before you actually pack in I think you’re that young you can probably overtake Sir Alex with the amount of medals and awards that you’ve won.”
Brazil legend Pele, arguably the greatest player to ever grace the game, took time out to send Giggs his personal message of congratulations.
“I wish to be with you personally to embrace you,” Pele said.
“Unfortunately I can’t but I am here in Brazil and I send this message to you because you are an example for the players who play this game.”
David Beckham, one of United’s famous ‘Class of 92’, said: “You’re an amazing servant for the game and more importantly an amazing servant for Manchester United. Well done mate.”
Red Devil’s legend Eric Cantona, who played alongside Giggs during United’s rise to the pinnacle of English football, offered some choice words to his former team-mate.
“You have been a great teammate. Great friend. Great example. I hope you have a great life after your career as well,” Cantona said.
Robbie Savage, who rose through the United youth system with Giggs, took the time to have a joke about Giggs depriving him of his chance.
“Tonight is all about congratulations but we know the real story,” the fellow Welshman joked.
“FA Youth cup final, you took my place. That could have been me, the most decorated player in Premier League history. Well done mate.”
Sir Alex Ferguson, who managed Giggs for his whole career until last summer, paid his own personal tribute to possibly his greatest ever player.
“No one in this club deserves it better than you,” Ferguson said.
“What a fantastic career. All the trophies you have won, the help you have given me. Good luck, well done and hope to see you soon.”
Giggs himself spoke of his pride at receiving the award and said that being recognized by the club had touched him.
“I’m not usually an emotional person but this has touched me,” Giggs said. “To receive this lifetime achievement award is something special.
“This club touches everyone’s heart, it’s not only a club it’s a family. I’m a lucky man.”
Image courtesy of MUTV, via Vimeo, with thanks.