Ryan Giggs' 11 Greatest Manchester United Moments

Jake Nisse@@jake_nisse_BRFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2013

Ryan Giggs' 11 Greatest Manchester United Moments

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    With 23 glorious years as a Manchester United player under his belt, Ryan Giggs has come to be known as one of the greatest to ever step foot on a soccer field.

    Those years have been witness to many accomplishments, both from his team and himself alone.

    To celebrate those accomplishments, let's take a look at The Welsh Wizard's 11 greatest moments as a red.

    (All stats and info via ESPN FC)

11. Manchester United Debut, 1990/91 Season

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    He had to start somewhere.

    As a 17-year-old winger from Wales, Ryan Giggs was far from the legend he is today—rather, an extremely unknown and unproven commodity.

    His first appearance for the club—a substitute cameo against Everton—was his first step in changing that. 

10. First Goal for Club vs. Manchester City, 1990/91 Season

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    His first of 114 goals for the club, this strike from then-youthful winger Ryan Giggs put him on the map and gave the Reds a crucial lead in the Manchester derby.

    Although the goal was extremely lucky due to a deflection, you'd be hard-pressed to find a United fan who really cared how it came.

    After all, it was the lone goal in a 1-0 United win over local rivals Manchester City.

9. Run and Assist, 1992/93 Season

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    While he may not be as pacy as he used to be, Ryan Giggs' speed was among the best in the world in the earlier stages of his career.

    That quickness is shown here, at the 2:30 mark of the video, as he takes the ball from one box to the other to set up a goal.

    With his combination of speed and passing vision, the Welshman was nearly unstoppable in his heyday.

8. Free Kick vs. Lille, 2006/07 Season

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    Aside from being a masterfully placed shot, Ryan Giggs' goal against Lille (1:11 in the video) was also extremely controversial.

    While Lille's defenders and goalkeeper were still setting up for the set piece, Giggs gave them no liberty and instead curved a surprise shot into the net.

    Lille players may have likened his act to cheating, but this goal really displays the cleverness and savvy that has come with his many years of playing experience.

7. First EPL Title, 1992/93 Season

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    Although taking home EPL honors is not an individual achievement for Giggs, he did play a large part in United's first Premier League championship.

    In the EPL's inaugural season, Giggs cemented his place as a starter for the Reds, helping the club by scoring nine goals from his left-wing position.

    The Welshman would go on to win 11 more titles (and will probably make it 12 after this season), but this one was probably the most special. 

6. Goal vs. Tottenham, 1992/93 Season

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    Speaking of his contributions to United's first EPL title, this was one of them.

    After plucking the ball away from a Spurs player, the Welshman slalomed his way past the Tottenham defense to provide a United lead just before halftime.

    A subdued response from the commentator shows how greatness was becoming expected of him at this point in his career. 

5. 1,000 Games Played, 2012/13 Season

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    While there have been many great players over time, few have shown the amount of consistency that Giggs has displayed at United for the last 23 years.

    In a Champions League match against Real Madrid this past March, the longtime United man reached the milestone of 1,000 appearances for the club.

    And he's still going strong. 

4. Goal vs. Wigan to Clinch the EPL Title, 2007/08 Season

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    After clinging on to a one-goal lead for most of the game, United finally clinched the game and the title with this nifty finish from Ryan Giggs.

    Even with much of his speed gone at this point in his career, Giggs found a way to get open and score off Wayne Rooney's pass.

    His passionate celebration of his 10th title shows how much he truly loves the game.

3. Penalty vs. Chelsea in Champions League Final, 2007/08 Season

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    Perhaps one of Ryan Giggs' best attributes is his ability to stay calm and composed in extremely tense and nerve-racking situations.

    That aplomb is shown here with his simple left-footed finish in the 2008 Champions League final penalty shootout against Chelsea.

    This penalty wound up being the winning one for the Reds, and United experienced European glory for the first time since 1999.

2. "Pass" to Teddy Sheringham in Champions League Final, 1998/99 Season

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    Considered by some as the greatest moment in Manchester United history, the Reds' win against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League Final was truly historic.

    Ryan Giggs supplied a pass—more of a scoffed pass, really—to Teddy Sheringham, who put the ball in Bayern's net to tie the game at 1-1. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored about a minute later to cap off a furious injury-time comeback that made United the champions of Europe.

    In retrospect, Giggs' imperfect shot turned out to be utterly perfect. The highlight can be seen at 1:40 in the video.

1. Goal vs. Arsenal in FA Cup Semifinal Replay, 1998/99 Season

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    Could it be anything else?

    With a pure stroke of genius, Ryan Giggs weaved his way through the Arsenal defense all the way from the halfway line and sent the Highbury crowd into an utter state of shock.

    His blistering shot into the roof of the net sent United into the FA Cup final (which they won) and fueled a hairy celebration that is remembered just as well.

    No wonder this goal is so iconic.