Manchester United winger, Ryan Giggs spend the entirety of his playing career at the Old Trafford club, making his debut on the 2 March 1991 at the age of 17 and playing his last match on the 6 May 2014, aged 40 at the time. It was a successful period of time for the Welsh winger, who is now the manager of his home nation, Wales.
Giggs played a total of 963 times, starting 802 times, appearing as a substitute 161 times. He scored 168 goals in his club career, also assisting 247 times, playing more than 68,000 minutes of football. Giggs is the most decorated player in English club history, winning nearly everything he could in the game, including 13 Premier League titles.
Giggs has played with many great players, including Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Scholes. However, it is the latter two who he considered the best players he has ever played with. Speaking recently with Manchester United, he said:
“The best player I played with is Cristiano Ronaldo. Obviously he was only there for a short space of time and he was brilliant for United and then went on to do even better elsewhere.
“Scholesy is the best player I’ve played with at United. You’ve all seen it in training – you couldn’t get near him. His brain was just quicker than everyone else, his range of passing, nasty.
“You think you’ve got him and he’ll just pop it off and give it the little faint. He was just brilliant in training.”
Ronaldo was a magnificent player and one that United missed after he left for Real Madrid in the summer of 2009. For United, he made a total of 292 appearances for the club, scoring 118 goals and 69 assists, winning three Premier League titles, the FA Cup, two League Cups, the FA Community Shield, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Ronaldo signed for United from Sporting Clube de Portugal in the summer of 2003, after playing 31 times for the club, scoring five goals and five assists, replacing Beckham and wearing the famous number seven shirt, scoring some cracking goals, from his free-kick against Portugal to the opening goal of the Champions League final in 2008.
Leaving United in the summer of 2009 for £80 million, Real Madrid was his future, playing a total of 438 times for the club, scoring 450 goals and 131 assists, winning La Liga twice, four Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups and two Club World Cups, among others. Now playing for Juventus, Ronaldo has played 75 times, scoring 53 goals and 14 assists, winning the Serie A and the Supercoppa Italiana.
Scholes played for twenty years, three fewer than Giggs, retiring from the club twice. He made his debut on the 21 September 1994 at the age of 19, playing his final game on the 19 May 2013, aged 38. Scholes played a total of 718 times, starting 577 and appearing as a substitute 141 times, scoring 155 goals and 73 assists, playing more than 51,000 minutes of football.
Scholes was a great player for United and played with the liked of Roy Keane, Rooney, Giggs, Ronaldo, Van Persie, Van Nistelrooy, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, amongst others. He played against some of the greatest footballers of European and World football, many of whom praised the player as being one of the greatest ever midfielders.
Scholes did not achieve as much as Giggs at the club, ending his career at the same time as legendary manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. He won 11 Premier League titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups, five Community Shields, two Champions Leagues, one Intercontinental Cup and one Club World Cup. A true legend of the game, just like Giggs and Ronaldo.