Ryan Giggs has accomplished a lot in his career, but he will reach a historic mark in the Champions League match against Real Madrid. The start with Manchester United will give him his 1,000 career appearance.
Daniel Taylor of The Guardian reported the news on Twitter, mentioning that he will get the nod over Wayne Rooney:
Daniel Taylor @DTguardian
Wayne Rooney is left out and Giggs starts for #MUFC on night of his 1,000th game - via @CliveTyldesley2013-3-5 18:35:21
When asked about the occasion, the veteran midfielder said (via Richard Jolly of ESPN):
I'm obviously proud of playing that many games. You set out different goals at the start. First you want to get in the team then stay in it and then win things. You never think you are going to get to 1,000 games. I have worked hard and had a lot of things go for me, the continuity of the manager and playing with good players.
Giggs officially joined Manchester United in 1987, but he did not make his senior debut until 1991. Since then, he has made a record 931 appearances for the historic club.
In that time, he has earned plenty of individual accolades to go with 12 Premier League titles and two Champions League victories in 1999 and 2008.
He reaches the 1,000-appearance mark thanks to his many years playing with the Welsh national team.
While he is no longer a major part of the club's success, he still gets on the pitch regularly for the current leaders in the English Premier League. He has eight starts in league play, and Tuesday will mark his 14th start overall.
The midfielder has five goals and three assists on the season.
Of course, the timing does raise a few question marks. Manchester United enters the second leg of the Round of 16 against Real Madrid with the two sides tied at one. Advancing to the quarterfinals of the Champions League is far from guaranteed.
However, manager Sir Alex Ferguson has decided to keep second-leading scorer Rooney on the bench to start the highly anticipated match.
Hopefully for United, this symbolic move is not something to regret later.