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If there is one player who sums up Sir Alex Ferguson's reign, it is Ryan Giggs. He is the best player in Premier League history, the best Welsh player ever, the best never to play for England and arguably Manchester United's best player of all time.
He was one of the earliest players who Sir Alex signed, having watched him as a 13-year-old from his office window as he played a trial for United's Under-15 team.
He was signed on his 14th birthday in November 1987 and made his professional debut in March 1991. He scored his first senior goal against Manchester City in May 1991, making him an instant hero.
Giggs is now in his 23rd Premier League season. Nobody will ever beat that, nor will anyone eclipse his record of scoring in 22 consecutive seasons, which may yet become 23.
And yet, in his 40th year, on Wednesday night against West Ham, he played like the 17-year-old debutant. He ran the opposition defence ragged, set up a penalty and several goal-scoring chances, covered every blade of grass and won Man of the Match.
There is no sentimentality whatsoever in Sir Alex saying he wants Ryan to sign another year's contract.
He epitomises everything about Manchester United and Sir Alex's reign. He is an utter professional, a supremely talented footballer and a model of the loyalty who characterises the club.
This is no accident. It may not have been the same in the "wilderness years," but it was under Sir Matt Busby, and it is with Sir Alex Ferguson. These managing giants inspire great loyalty in the mould of what makes the club great.
Sir Alex Ferguson is the greatest footballing manager ever to walk this earth: not coach—manager.
In Europe things are different, since you have coaches and footballing directors. At United, Sir Alex runs the entire playing side, while David Gill runs the club.
He is also, of course, the greatest Manchester United manager ever and will be a difficult, if not impossible, act to follow.
We have listed just five players here and mentioned many more. They represent the very best values that are the hallmark of the greatest football club in the world.
They were chosen by Sir Alex. He helped shape the greatness they became, and they repaid him and the fans many times over with their skill and loyalty.
Which players do you think define Sir Ferguson's reign and why?