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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Nov 29, 2013

Ryan Giggs praised by Prem bosses

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs broke Raul's Champions League appearance record after featuring in the competition for the 145th time against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Manchester United manager David Moyes led the tributes among Premier League managers for Ryan Giggs, who celebrated his 40th birthday on Friday.

David Moyes (Manchester United manager)

"The lads had one or two surprises for him in the dressing room. One was a coach's watch. I think he was beginning to think they were pushing him out of the dressing-room!

"They're very good. He's respected by everyone in the dressing room because of what he's done and what he's achieved in football.

"[He is] undoubtedly at the top because of his longevity, the time he's played for one club, the amount of games he's played, what he's done in the Premier League and Europe.

"Every season you can look through and see Ryan Giggs moments. I just think to be playing so well at his age is terrific.

"He's a great example to young players of how you should dedicate yourself to your career, and also to players in their early-to-mid-30s, who think maybe they're coming to the end.

"But if you really look after yourself and train well, it can maybe go on a lot longer for you."

Arsene Wenger (Arsenal manager)

"He is in the top of the Premier League players historically -- first for the quality of his performances and secondly for the consistency of his performances.

"He reminds me a bit of Dennis Bergkamp, he as well played until he was 37, 38. What you respect as a manager is not only the talent of the players, but their love and the passion for the game. To be still in there shows an exceptional passion and you respect that a lot.

"Congratulations to him. I saw his game on Wednesday night [the 5-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen]. To deliver that at 40, is something very special.

"Amazingly, when he was a young player, he was injured a lot and now as he has got older he is not injured any more. Maybe he is like a good Bordeaux, he gets better as he gets older."

Jose Mourinho (Chelsea manager)

"For me, he's a historical player. I think the first time I came to play in England was Manchester United against Barcelona in, I would say, 1997 or 1998, something like that, and he was a top player for Manchester United. And that was back then. Now you are in 2013-14 and the man is a top player for them still.

"For such a long time, when you are a top player in this country and United -- especially because he never left and has always played in the Premier League -- the numbers are absolutely amazing and he's a historical player for the Premier League.

"It's just a pity a World Cup never saw him. It's the only regret that someone who admires him can have in his career. But congratulations."

Brendan Rodgers (Liverpool manager)

"I've always looked at Ryan because he's the same age as me. He's 40 and he's playing, and I'm 40 and sitting here. He's been blessed genetically with a body that has allowed him to stay fit to play games. I think everyone in football has an incredible admiration for him.

"You could see how he controlled the game the other night. He's a remarkable player. He's right up at the very, very top. I remember him breaking through, coming into the team.

"And it wasn't that long ago he was getting a wee bit of stick there as well. But it just shows you what character he has. And every time I've encountered him, I've seen he's a good guy; very humble and unassuming, but very focused on his career.

"To be playing at the top level at 40, the dedication, commitment, focus and hunger you need to do it at that age is remarkable. I think everyone would applaud him in what he's done. And he looks as if he could still play on."

Ryan Giggs applauds the United fans after putting in a superb performance in the 5-0 Champions League thrashing of Leverkusen in Germany just two days before his 40th birthday.
Giggs has played more than 1,000 games for club and country in his career.

Manuel Pellegrini (Manchester City manager)

"[I am] surprised of course because it is not easy to play at 40 years old at such an important team as Manchester United.

"I played with Villarreal twice against Manchester United in Champions League in 2005-06 when Ryan was a very, very important player and I think he continues at the same level.

"I don’t know him very much but he must be very intelligent and a very professional player and an example to young players who are just starting their careers."

Mark Hughes (Stoke City manager and former United and Wales teammate)

"I would suggest he is the legend, to be honest. When you consider the impact he has had on the Premier League and the amount of success he has had and the longevity he has had.

"It's credit to him. I was fortunate to be around when he was breaking through and I know that, at the time, almost every senior player at Man United knew there was an exciting talent coming through the ranks.

"You usually find when you are a senior player that you take notice of people who might take your place in the team so there was a lot of interest in what was happening with Ryan because you knew there was an exciting group coming through.

"There was Nicky Butt and [Paul] Scholes, but Ryan was the shining light very early on. The success he has had will not be replicated by anyone else. The fact that he has done it at the only club he has been at shows what a guy and what a player he is.

"He has got the personality and ability to play at that level, and to maintain his form and to keep achieving is incredible. That is the prerequisite at Man United where the expectations to keep levels high and to keep achieving are always there and that is what he has done.

"He has done it over an unbelievable amount of time and credit to him. He's a great lad and he deserves all the success he has had."

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