It's officially out now. The Premier League star who had an affair with former Miss Wales, Imogen Thomas, is the "respected" veteran footballer Ryan Giggs.
Once the story leaked out in the media a few weeks ago, Giggs' name was bandied around, but the law protected him as the star was hiding behind a super-injunction which concealed his identity but only for so long.
Interestingly, it was a Liberal Democrat MP who confirmed the star involved in the liaison with the luscious Welsh beauty was the veteran Manchester United midfielder.
When the news of the Wales midfielder's seven-month fling broke out first in the media, his wife grew suspicious and confronted him. Giggs confessed his "sins," but his distraught wife didn't walk out of marriage for the sake of the family and, more importantly, for the children.
It's hard to digest that a celebrated and highly-respected footballer like Giggs is caught on the prowl. He was supposed to be the role model for the Welsh youngsters. A player who is highly revered in the footballing circuit.
While Thomas is a temptation, Giggs should've been mature enough to keep his lust under check, being the popular figure that he is.
Transgression in football is nothing new, and British football has been tarnished on a regular basis by the promiscuity of star players. Love-rat John Terry is notorious for his adultery and so is Ashley Cole.
Wayne Rooney is the striker of this promiscuous British horde lead by Terry. Peter Crouch is the target man who prefers air stewardesses. Poacher Jermain Defoe is another notable name who is also known for his immoral lifestyle.
While these names associated with hookers hardly raise an eyebrow, the one of Giggs does raise a few.
The question to be asked is would this carefree episode of Giggs diminish his status as an esteemed, legendary player? Footballers should be socially responsible. Their deeds, which can influence the impressionable youngsters, are closely followed by many.
So it's the moral responsibility of the footballers to lead a life that inculcates rich values into younger generation. In this day and age, footballers have nothing short of celebrity status. With popularity comes responsibility. They simply can't dally with hookers and later hide beneath the wafer-thin protective shield of super-injunction before spilling the beans to media and apologising.
That's the most reckless mistake a footballer can commit to tarnish his reputation. Even a player of the stature of Giggs is not safe.
Just to play devil's advocate, I can argue that the private life of footballers shouldn't be of any concern if their football does the talking. Footballers shouldn't be treated as cult heroes. They shouldn't be worshipped as demi-gods. What matters is football and, as long as these players perform, their private life shouldn't be of anyone's concern.
It's the decision of the public to make these footballers a role model. After all, they're also bare mortals and sultry models like Imogen Thomas could prove to be too much of a temptation to turn away from.
That's entirely private. However, that doesn't mean players should hide under the safety blanket of super-injunctions. They must show some guts to reveal it like a man to the entire world rather than resorting to hide-and-seek games.
Giggs has achieved so much in his illustrious career. He's one of the all-time best players of the Premier League era.
We will just have to wait and see how much of this self-inflicted shame will affect his popularity.
Being such a senior figure, even Sir Alex Ferguson may struggle to hold a talk with Giggs about this disgraceful escapade that incurs ignominy on the player as well as his club.
It's not one off case. A handful of Premier League players are hiding behind the super-injunctions, including two Arsenal players, for whom the club paid all the legal charges to secure super-injunction. What a disgrace!
This trend is disgraceful to the Premier League but it's news anyway. Hot news!
You can read more on Giggs-Imogen Thomas here.
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