Has Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs surpassed the achievements of Paolo Maldini?


    By Oliver Yew

    3 Mar 2011 12:10:00

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    Ryan Giggs celebrated 20 years in the Manchester United first-team this week by coming off the bench against Chelsea to equal Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time record of 606 league appearances for the club.

    The 37-year-old has been an integral part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s side since he made his league debut as a fresh faced teenager on March 2, 1991, and after signing a new one-year extension to his contract he is set to continue playing into 2012.

    The Welshman has had a remarkable career at the top level and he has won every domestic honour that there is to be won in England.

    This has drawn comparisons with retired Italy legend defender Paolo Maldini, who continued playing until he was 40.

    Red Devils defender John O’Shea insists his club team-mate has even surpassed the achievements of the AC Milan player, who played 902 times for the club in 25 seasons.

    Giggs still has some way to go to catch that figure, but Goal.com UK has decided to compare the two legends of the game.

    Ryan Giggs

    Nationality: Welsh
    Age: 37

    Manchester United
    United debut: March 2, 1991 v Everton
    Seasons at the club: 20 and counting

    Position: Midfielder
    Appearances: 863
    League appearances: 606
    Goals: 158
    International caps (goals): 64 (12)

    Major honours: 32

    Domestic honours: 11 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, four League Cups, eight Community Shields

    European honours: Two European Cups, one European Super Cup, one Fifa Club World Cup, one Intercontinental Cup

    Individual honours: PFA Player of the Year 2008-09, PFA Young Player of the Year 1991-92 and 1992-93, PFA Team of the Year nine times, BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2009, BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 1996 and 2009, Order of the British Empire for his services to football 2007


    • Giggs has the most Premier League appearances for an outfield player
    • He is the only player to have scored in all 19 seasons of the Premier League
    • He is 14th in the overall list for Champions League all-time goalscorers and he is the leading British player in the list
    • Most appearances by a Manchester United player
    • Equal with Sir Bobby Charlton for the most number of league appearances for United with 606

    Paolo MaldiniNationality: Italian
    Age: 42

    AC Milan
    Milan debut: January 20, 1985 v Udinese
    Seasons at the club: 25

    Appearances: 902
    League appearances: 647
    Goals: 29
    International caps (goals): 126 (7)

    Major honours: 26

    Domestic honours:
    Seven Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, five Supercoppa Italianas

    European honours: Five European Cups, five European Super Cups, one Fifa Club World Cup, two Intercontinental Cups

    Individual honours: Fifa World Player of the Year Silver Award 1995, Ballon d’Or Bronze award winner 1994 and 2003, Serie A Defender of the Year 2005, Champions League Best Defender 2007, Under-21 European Footballer of the Year 1989, Uefa European Championship Team of the Tournament three times, Fifa World Cup Team of the Tournament 1994, Italy captain 1994-2002, Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Order of Merit of the Italian Republic) 4th and 5th degree


    • Serie A leading appearance maker with 647
    • Champions League appearance record holder with 168
    • All-time record cap holder for Italy with 126
    • Played in four World Cup finals and three European Championships with Italy
    • AC Milan all-time record appearance holder with 902

    Do you agree with John O’Shea? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll and leaving your comments below…

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    Has Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs surpassed the achievements of Paolo Maldini?