Ryan Giggs (born 29 November 1973 in Cardiff) is a
football player for Manchester United. Originally named Ryan
Joseph Wilson, he subsequently adopted his mother's surname. He
was born in Wales, but was brought up in England. He played for
the England Schoolboys team, but plays for the Welsh national
team as an adult. Contrary to popular opinion, Giggs could not
have played for the full England national side. He could only
play for the English Schools team because he went to school
there. In order to play for the England national team, he would
have had to be born in England or have had English parents or
grandparents; however, both his parents and all four
grandparents are Welsh. He is the top all time scorer in the FA
Premier League not to play in a striker position.
Giggs is the most decorated footballer in the history of
Manchester United, having won eight Premier League championship
(a record he shares with Liverpool's Alan Hansen, Phil Neal and
Kenny Dalglish), one Champions League and four FA Cup titles. He
has also won the PFA Young Player of the Year award twice.
A left-sided winger who occasionally plays as a supporting
striker for United, Giggs finest goal came in the 1999 FA Cup
semi-final replay against Arsenal, where his extra-time solo run
from the half-way line, dribbling past three defenders, won the
match for his team.
The Ryan Giggs chant often heard from the fans during the
Manchester United games is as follows, "Ryan Giggs, Ryan Giggs,
Running down the wing, Ryan Giggs, Ryan Giggs, Can do anything,
Feared by the Blues, Loved by the Reds, Ryan Giggs, Ryan Giggs,
Ryan Giggs." Another chant goes, "Giggs, Giggs will tear you
apart, again", adapted from the Joy Division song 'Love will
tear us apart'.
During the first half of the 2004-05 season, Giggs was linked in
transfer speculation with Newcastle United. However, no move was
made before the transfer window closed on 31 January 2005. After
the season, Giggs signed a two-year extension with Man United,
after chairman David Gill relented on his normal policy of not
signing players over 30 to deals longer than one year. The
extension, which runs through July 2008, will effectively keep
him at Old Trafford for the remainder of his playing career.
His nickname is The Welsh Wizard.