Ryan Giggs is playing into his 40s at Manchester United, which is remarkable considering he’s a midfielder.
Ryan Giggs seems to be the model professional for any youngster coming up through the ranks anywhere, in terms of how to stay in the best possible shape and how to develop and adjust as the years go on.
The recent news of a one-year contract extension means Giggs will play for United into his 40s and the fact he plays in the midfield is remarkable because if he’d played in a lower pressure position, you could understand his physical ability to do this.
It leads to two main questions, which are whether anyone else can follow a similar career to him and whether anyone else will break the performance records he has put together over the years.
Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen suggested that there would never be another Ryan Giggs because he’s a completely unique specimen of a man and a football player.
Michael Carrick has echoed these comments and has revealed that he cannot see himself playing to the same sort of level as Giggs into his 40s and he plays in the same position in the United team.
He’s also a bit of a health freak which seems to have gone a long way to ensuring that he can have a long and successful playing career, which seems to just keep going each and every time you expect him to announce his retirement.
As for whether his appearance records will ever be broken, that’s highly doubtful. There could be another player somewhere who accumulates more appearances over the course of their career, but they are unlikely to do it at just one club as Giggs has done.
The important thing for United when he does retire is to not try and replace him because he does seem like a one-off, special sort of player.
If they try to replace him, whoever the club brings in will be under a constant level of pressure to try and match up against one of the greatest Premier League players that there has ever been.
Playing careers should start getting longer because the fitness levels and the resources available to treat players in the right way, are better than they have ever been.
However, it’s the context surrounding Giggs and his professional career which makes it highly unlikely that anyone will ever replicate his achievements.
United fans, will there ever be another Ryan Giggs?
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