Previous
Zenit St Petersburg
AS Monaco
0
0
ESPN3 LIVE 21'
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Juventus
ESPN2, ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Malmo FF
Olympiakos
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Basel
Liverpool
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
Real Madrid
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
Benfica
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Anderlecht
Borussia Dortmund
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Arsenal
Galatasaray
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Leeds United
Reading
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Huddersfield Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Fulham
Bolton Wanderers
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Puebla
UNAM
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
America
Veracruz
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Pachuca
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Chiapas
U. de G.
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
Cruz Azul
2:45 AM GMT
Game Details
Ottawa Fury FC
Atlanta Silverbacks
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Libertad
River Plate
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Bahia
César Vallejo
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Emelec
Goiás EC
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
EC Vitória
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
San Lorenzo
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Independiente
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Crucero del Norte
Sp. Belgrano
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
All Boys
Sarmiento de Junín
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Santa Marina
Atlético Tucumán
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Unión de Santa Fe
Patronato
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Boca Unidos
Colón de Santa Fe
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Guaraní A. Franco
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Independiente Rivadavia
Huracán
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
Aldosivi
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
ABC
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Botafogo
Santos FC
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Corinthians
Atlético MG
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
América RN
Flamengo
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Los Caimanes
Inti Gas Deportes
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Unión Comercio
Universitario de Deportes
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Cristal
Real Garcilaso
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
León de Huánuco
César Vallejo
Postp
Game Details
Guaraní
3 de Febrero
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Capiatá
Sportivo Luqueño
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Libertad
Nacional
11:10 PM GMT
Game Details
General Díaz
Olimpia
11:40 PM GMT
Game Details
Mushuc Runa
U. Católica
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Barcelona
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Olmedo
Club Deportivo Cuenca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
El Nacional
LDU Quito
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Deportivo Quito
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Club Petrolero de Yacuiba
The Strongest
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
San José
Oriente Petrolero
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Western Sydney Wanderers
FC Seoul
2
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
CD Dragon
Alianza FC
Postp
Postponed - now being played Wed, Oct 1
Game Details
Valledupar F.C.
Atlético Junior
8:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Patriotas F.C.
Once Caldas
12:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Next
 Posted by Musa Okwonga
Aug 14, 2014

Will Giggs' spectre loom over Januzaj?

Adnan Januzaj chats with Ryan Giggs -- the man from whom he has inherited the No. 11.

Adnan Januzaj has been handed the No. 11 shirt once worn by Ryan Giggs, and the question is whether it will weigh heavily upon his shoulders.

After all, one of his colleagues, Antonio Valencia, handed back the No. 7 shirt, whose previous bearers had included George Best, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo; the Ecuadorian winger-come-wing-back ultimately succumbed to the pressure of emulating those who had gone before.

- Jolly: Van Gaal chooses Young over youth
- Okwonga: Cautious optimism for Manchester United

Januzaj, as far as the logic goes, should be just fine. Few teenagers endured the scrutiny that he did last season -- a spotlight with which Giggs, during his breakthrough years, would have been familiar -- and his performances, before he began to tire late in the season, were often fantastic. If he can handle that, then a mere number won't be a problem.

Or will it?

Giggs wore the No. 11, but it was not a shirt, of itself, that was possessed of mythical qualities. If Manchester United is a kingdom, then the No. 7 shirt is the ruler's unofficial robe (or, in Eric Cantona's case, his official one).

The staff at the club must have felt that Januzaj could do without this coronation; given the Belgian's eye for goal, technical brilliance and impressive heading ability, the last thing they need are hasty comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Far better to let him develop in peace, since, for all Giggs' remarkable achievements, his number will not cast as great a shadow over Januzaj's career as Ronaldo's would have done.

This is because Giggs, above all, stood for endurance, for endless self-reinvention year after year, from thrilling left-winger to deep-lying playmaker; while Ronaldo will always stand for fierce acceleration, for the show-stoppingly spectacular. Of all the legends that Januzaj could follow, Giggs is by far the least foreboding.

ESPN FC's Stuart Holden and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard don't share the same view on Manchester United's title chances this season.

From one vantage point, giving Valencia the No. 7 shirt was actually quite smart, because he was a player who had no chance of ever becoming the emblem of the club. The problem was, after his outstanding season in 2011-12 when he was named both the club's and the fans' player of the year, Sir Alex Ferguson handed him the No. 7 in what seemed like an act of anointment.

It was almost as if Ferguson was saying that he was on a path to join the greats, and that's one of the reasons, apparently, why Valencia's form crumbled and he reverted to the No. 25.

Januzaj hopefully won't have to deal with such mid-career crises of confidence. (More importantly, he has his work cut out just getting into the team's starting eleven, since at the moment there is no natural place for him in this lineup).

There has been vague talk about Giggs' number being retired, but that is an idea that Giggs himself has rejected. At the very least, it will be a powerful incentive to whoever follows in his footsteps, and few will ever do so as nimbly as Januzaj.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.