The Greatest English Footballer Ever, Ryan Giggs, Has Retired At 40 To Be Man Utd Assistant Manager

Ryan Giggs has retired after 24 seasons at Man Utd to become assistant manager. Photo: Getty.

Ryan Giggs, the most decorated player in English football, has retired as a player, aged 40, and will become assistant manager to Louis van Gaal at Manchester United. He played his last game a fortnight ago against Hull City.

Giggs played more than 1000 games, including 963 games (803 starts and 160 subs) for Man Utd since his debut in 1991, winning 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two Champions Leagues along the way. It’s unlikely his 23-year career will ever be rivalled.

The Welsh-born player, who switched from the midfield to the wing towards the end of his career, giving it a new lease of life, also played in 64 games for Wales as well as returning from international retirement to captain Great Britain at the London Olympics.

He booted 168 goals (his last in February 2013) and the record for assists at 284, more than 100 clear of his nearest rival, Frank Lampard.

Announcing his retirement in England on Monday, Giggs post the following letter to fans on the Manchester United website:

Ryan Giggs’ retirement letter

Today is a fantastic day for Manchester United. Louis van Gaal is a great appointment and let me begin by telling you how delighted I am to be working with someone of his calibre. His credentials are second to none and I’m positive the club will thrive under his leadership over the coming years.

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from professional football and embark upon a new and exciting chapter in my life, as assistant manager of Manchester United. I am immensely proud, honoured and fortunate to have represented the biggest club in the world 963 times and Wales 64 times. My dream was always to play for Manchester United, and although it saddens me to know I won’t be pulling on a United jersey again as a player, I have been lucky enough to have fulfilled that dream playing with some of the best players in the world, working under an incredible manager in Sir Alex Ferguson, and most of all, playing for the greatest fans in world football. I have always felt and appreciated your support.

I want to also give a huge thanks to the backroom staff and support teams we have and have had at Manchester United over the years. I would not have achieved the success I have without your continuing dedication and commitment to creating the best environment to enable the players to thrive. I would not have won 34 trophies in my career without you. I would also like to say a special thanks to my friends and family for all your love and support.

For me, today is a new chapter filled with many emotions – immense pride, sadness, but most of all, excitement towards the future. United fans I hope will share and echo my belief that the club, the management and owners, are doing everything they can to return this great club to where it belongs, and I hope to be there every step of the way. To the greatest fans in world football, thank you, I have loved every minute of playing for you and representing the biggest and best club in the world.

See you next season.


NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.