WHEN IT COMES to picking a role model there has never been any footballer greater than Ryan Giggs – and it is hard to imagine any athlete in the history of sport with more longevity at the top level than the Manchester United legend.

As Sir Alex Ferguson says: “You run out of words to describe Ryan Giggs. He is a marvellous player and a wonderful man. To have the desire and the ability to play at the top level in such a physically demanding position at his age requires a special person. He is still turning in man of the match performances and his experience is so vital for the younger players in the squad.”

Giggs, on course for yet another remarkable milestone, has signed a one year extension to his contract, in a deal that will see him complete his 21st season as a first team player.

And what is so great about the Welsh wizard is that he still has much to contribute to the team. As the great man himself acknowledges: “It is great to know I’m contributing to the team’s success. I feel I’ve still got a lot to offer.

“All I’ve ever wanted to do is play for United and I’ve been lucky enough to do that for 20 years. This is an exciting time to be involved with so many good young players coming through.”

Giggs has made more than 850 appearances for the club and recently played his 600th Premier League game.

He signed professional forms with United in 1990, making his debut in March 1991. In that time he has made a club record 862 appearances, scoring 158 goals. He has won 11 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, two Champions Leagues, one Super Cup, an Intercontinental Cup and a Club World Cup.

– BY JOHN GUBBA

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