Almost at 39, Ryan Giggs used to being old man of Old Trafford

Ryan Giggs celebrates his 39th birthday on Thursday with the Manchester United veteran now well used to playing alongside team-mates who were not even born when he made his debut.

Last updated on Thursday, 29 November, 2012 00:19 IST
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Manchester: Ryan Giggs celebrates his 39th birthday on Thursday with the Manchester United veteran now well used to playing alongside team-mates who were not even born when he made his debut.

The Welsh winger is the only active Premier League player who appeared in the opening matches of the competition 20 years ago.

"I got used to the fact a long time ago that I am playing with someone who wasn't born when I made my debut and all these sort of things that come up.

"So yeah, I have just got used to it. It's something I have got to live with I suppose."

In a Q&A on www.premierleague.com, Giggs said clashes with United's arch-rivals Liverpool accounted for his favourite matches while former Arsenal full-back Lee Dixon was his toughest opponent.

"I think as a player you want a challenge, so any of the top teams really. I would probably say Liverpool, because there is always such a great build-up.

"It doesn't matter how the teams are doing in the league, there's always that rivalry and there's always that ferocious tempo within the game, whether it be at Old Trafford or Anfield."

Asked which stadium had the most daunting atmosphere, he replied: "I think Anfield. Like I said before, no matter how the teams are doing there is always a great atmosphere.

"You could be playing against an average Liverpool team and it would still be one of the toughest games of the season, just because the crowd drive them on and the tradition between the two clubs."

Giggs chose United heroes Paul Scholes, Roy Keane and Cristiano Ronaldo as the three midfielders he would most like to play with, leaving out another Old Trafford favourite in David Beckham.

"I think the two midfielders that stand out are Scholesy and Keaney, the year we won the treble. And then it would be close between Becks and Cristiano but what Cristiano has done in the last couple of years probably just pips him.

In my view, along with Messi, he's the world's best player. So, I wouldn't mind being in that midfield, if I can get in!"

Giggs added Dixon, a member of Arsenal's celebrated back four of the 1980s and 90s, had been his most difficult opponent.

"I think Lee Dixon was always tough to play against, especially at Highbury where it was a tight pitch and it was that famous back four and (David) Seaman in goal," he said.

"It was always tough to find that bit of space which normally I can find but he had that experience, knowing whether to go tight or whether to come off, and it was always a test to play against him."

Story first published on: Thursday, 29 November 2012 00:10 IST

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