Ryan Giggs has beaten off Bobby Charlton, George Best and
Eric Cantona to be named the greatest player in Manchester United's history.
And United boss Sir Alex Ferguson can understand exactly why
the Welshman topped the list following a poll of thousands of fans conducted by
the club's official magazine and website.
It is just the latest accolade in a glittering career that
now extends to an incredible 859 appearances and will continue on into next
season after the 37-year-old recently agreed a one-year contract extension.
"I am not surprised at all," Ferguson told Inside
United. "Longevity always comes into play in these things and Ryan has
been around here for more time than any other player.
"He recently appeared in his 600th league game, which
is an exceptional achievement.
"That won't be done again, not by one player at the
same club. And then we can talk about his performances, which have been top
class for 20 years. Even now, at the age of 37, he is amazing."
The player himself admitted that he was shocked to have come
ahead of the roster of Red Devils legends.
"When I got told I genuinely couldn't believe it. There
have been so many great players here," he said, before adding that he does
not feel like one of the Premier League's oldest players.
"It doesn't really feel like I am 37," he said.
"I have some great banter with the young players and
still think of myself as just one of the lads.
"There was an article in the paper about it being 20
years since my debut and they had some stats in there which the lads were
killing me about.
"The time has gone very quickly. I am not finished yet
though - I feel great and I hope I can carry on for a while longer."
greatest ever players
1) Ryan Giggs
2) Eric Cantona
3) George Best
4) Sir Bobby Charlton
5) Cristiano Ronaldo
6) Paul Scholes
7) David Beckham
8) Roy Keane
9) Peter Schmeichel
10) Wayne Rooney
PA Sport / Inside
United / www.manutd.com