Featured Matches
Previous
Burnley
Manchester United
0
0
LIVE 90' +1'
Game Details
Manchester City
Stoke City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Everton
Chelsea
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Eibar
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Schalke 04
Bayern Munich
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chievo Verona
Juventus
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Roma
Fiorentina
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Burnley
Manchester United
0
0
LIVE 90' +1'
Game Details
Manchester City
Stoke City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Newcastle United
Crystal Palace
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Queens Park Rangers
Sunderland
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Swansea City
West Bromwich Albion
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
West Ham United
Southampton
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Everton
Chelsea
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Levante
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cordoba
Celta Vigo
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Eibar
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Espanyol
Sevilla FC
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
Hertha Berlin
0
0
LIVE 6'
Game Details
Hamburg SV
SC Paderborn 07
0
0
LIVE 5'
Game Details
VfB Stuttgart
FC Cologne
0
0
LIVE 1'
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Eintracht Frankfurt
0
0
LIVE 2'
Game Details
Werder Bremen
TSG Hoffenheim
0
0
LIVE 6'
Game Details
Schalke 04
Bayern Munich
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chievo Verona
Juventus
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Roma
Fiorentina
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Lille
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Caen
Stade Rennes
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lens
Stade de Reims
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lorient
Guingamp
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nantes
Montpellier
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Toulouse
Evian Thonon Gaillard
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sheffield Wednesday
Nottingham Forest
0
1
FT
Game Details
Brighton & Hove Albion
Charlton Athletic
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Derby County
Ipswich Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Fulham
Cardiff City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Leeds United
Bolton Wanderers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Middlesbrough
Reading
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Millwall
Blackpool
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Norwich City
AFC Bournemouth
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rotherham United
Brentford
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Watford
Huddersfield Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Wigan Athletic
Birmingham City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Blackburn Rovers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Colchester United
Peterborough United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Doncaster Rovers
Oldham Athletic
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Fleetwood Town
Leyton Orient
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Gillingham
Crewe Alexandra
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Milton Keynes Dons
Crawley Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Port Vale
Chesterfield
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Preston North End
Sheffield United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rochdale
Bradford City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Scunthorpe United
Walsall
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Swindon Town
Coventry City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Yeovil Town
Barnsley
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Wimbledon
Stevenage
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bury
Accrington Stanley
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Carlisle United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Hartlepool United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Mansfield Town
Burton Albion
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Northampton Town
Exeter City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Oxford United
Dagenham & Redbridge
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Southend United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Portsmouth
Newport County
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Shrewsbury Town
Luton Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Tranmere Rovers
Morecambe
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
York City
Wycombe Wanderers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Aldershot Town
Grimsby Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
Braintree Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bristol Rovers
Halifax
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dartford
AFC Telford United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dover
Kidderminster Harriers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Gateshead
Chester City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lincoln City
Torquay United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Macclesfield Town
Eastleigh
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nuneaton Town
Altrincham
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Southport
Barnet
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Welling
Forest Green Rovers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Wrexham
Woking
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Aberdeen
Partick Thistle
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Hamilton Academical
Ross County
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Kilmarnock
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Motherwell
St Johnstone
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
St Mirren
Dundee United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Alloa Athletic
Hibernian
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cowdenbeath
Raith Rovers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dumbarton
Livingston
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Heart of Midlothian
Falkirk
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rangers
Queen of the South
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Airdrie United
Stirling Albion
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Brechin City
Peterhead
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Forfar Athletic
Greenock Morton
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stenhousemuir
Ayr United
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stranraer
Dunfermline Athletic
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Albion Rovers
Queen's Park
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Annan Athletic
Elgin City
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Arbroath
Montrose
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Clyde
Berwick Rangers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
East Fife
East Stirlingshire
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Barcelona B
CD Sabadell
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lugo
Real Valladolid
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Zaragoza
Osasuna
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AD Alcorcon
Girona
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Racing Santander
Mirandes
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Tenerife
Albacete
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Catania
Lanciano
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Crotone
Ternana
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Frosinone
Brescia
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Livorno
Carpi
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
US Avellino
Pro Vercelli
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
US Pescara
Trapani
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Varese
Spezia
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Vicenza
Latina
Postp
Game Details
Virtus Entella
Bari
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Erzgebirge Aue
Fortuna Düsseldorf
0
3
FT
Game Details
Karlsruhe
Heidenheimer SB
1
1
FT
Game Details
Tours
Angers
1
1
LIVE 79'
Game Details
Cambuur Leeuwarden
ADO Den Haag
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Dordrecht '90
AZ Alkmaar
5:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Excelsior
SC Heracles Almelo
5:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Heerenveen
FC Utrecht
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Oss
De Graafschap
2:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Belenenses
Guimaraes
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Braga
Estoril
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Mordovia Saransk
FK Torpedo Moscow
1
0
FT
Game Details
FK Amkar Perm
Spartak Moscow
0
0
LIVE 34'
Game Details
FC Arsenal Tula
Kuban Krasnodar
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Eskisehirspor K
Konyaspor
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Bursaspor
Galatasaray
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Istanbul Buyuksehir BSK
Kasimpasa
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Mersin Idmanyurdu
Besiktas
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kalloni AEL
Ergotelis
4:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Panthrakikos
Giannina
4:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Panetolikos
Olympiakos
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
KV Oostende
Racing Genk
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
KVC Westerlo
Zulte-Waregem
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Mouscron-Peruwelz
Cercle Brugge KSV
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Waasland-Beveren
Lierse SK
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SV Salzburg
SK Sturm Graz
2:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Trenkwalder Admira
Austria Vienna
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
SC Rheindorf Altach
SV Josko Ried
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Wolfsberger AC
FC Magna Wr. Neustadt
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sonderjyske
Randers FC
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
BK Hacken
Mjallby
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Gefle IF
Atvidabergs FF
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sarpsborg FK
Odd Grenland
0
0
LIVE 0'
Game Details
Aalesund
Stromsgodset
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bodo/Glimt
Valerenga
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Thun
FC Sion Sitten
3:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Lucerne
FC Aarau
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ballinamallard Utd
Cliftonville
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Crusaders
Glentoran
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dungannon Swifts
Linfield
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Institute
Warrenpoint Town
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Seattle Sounders FC
Colorado Rapids
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Toronto FC
New England Revolution
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Montreal Impact
Columbus Crew
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chicago Fire
FC Dallas
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
San Jose Earthquakes
Real Salt Lake
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Vancouver Whitecaps
Portland Timbers
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
America
UNAM
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Puebla
Morelia
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
U.A.N.L
Chiapas
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
León
Pachuca
1:06 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlas
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Prestatyn Town
Bala Town
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Ottawa Fury FC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Carolina RailHawks
Atlanta Silverbacks
ESPN3 11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Indy Eleven
New York Cosmos
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia La Plata
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Defensa y Justicia
Rosario Central
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Newell's Old Boys
Estudiantes La Plata
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Nueva Chicago
Argentinos Juniors
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
All Boys
Santamarina
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Boca Unidos
Douglas Haig
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Aldosivi
Colón de Santa Fe
9:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Altamira
Correcaminos
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Mérida
Celaya
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Irapuato
Mineros de Zacatecas
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Oaxaca
Zacatepec
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Dorados de Sinaloa
Necaxa
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Chapecoense AF
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Palmeiras
Internacional
ESPN3 9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AA Ponte Preta
Náutico
7:10 PM GMT
Game Details
América RN
Paraná Clube
7:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Bragantino
ABC
7:10 PM GMT
Game Details
CR Vasco da Gama
Avaí
7:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Ceará
Luverdense
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Colo Colo
Antofagasta
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Huachipato
Santiago Wanderers
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Fénix
Defensor Sporting
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nacional
El Tanque Sisley
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Alianza Petrolera
Atlético Huila
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Uniautonoma
Boyacá Chicó FC
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Patriotas F.C.
Fortaleza CE
12:45 AM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
Unión Comercio
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Alianza Lima
Melgar
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
César Vallejo
Real Garcilaso
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Juan Aurich
Universitario de Deportes
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
San Simón
San Martin
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
3 de Febrero
Sol de América
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Aragua
Deportivo Táchira
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Dep. Metropolitano
Zamora
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
The Strongest
Universitario de Pando
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Gamba Osaka
Albirex Niigata
5
0
FT
Game Details
Urawa Red Diamonds
Omiya Ardija
4
0
FT
Game Details
Tokushima Vortis
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
9:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Cerezo Osaka
Vissel Kobe
1
2
FT
Game Details
Kashima Antlers
FC Tokyo
2
2
FT
Game Details
Kashiwa Reysol
Vantforet Kofu
3
0
FT
Game Details
Nagoya Grampus Eight
Kawasaki Frontale
1
1
FT
Game Details
Sagan Tosu
Shimizu S-Pulse
2
2
FT
Game Details
Vegalta Sendai
Yokohama F. Marinos
1
2
FT
Game Details
Bay United
Orlando Pirates
0
1
LIVE 31'
Game Details
Free State Stars
Maritzburg Utd
0
1
LIVE 3'
Game Details
Kaizer Chiefs
SuperSport United
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Mpumalanga Black Aces
Pretoria Univ
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Santos
Pumas Generalena
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Comunicaciones
Antigua
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Marquense
Guastatoya
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Platense
Parrillas One
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Victoria
Honduras Progreso
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next
Mar 1, 2011

Giggs will soon tear you apart

Wednesday, March 2, marks 20 years of Ryan Giggs as a Manchester United first-team player. It is the anniversary of an inauspicious 2-0 home defeat to Everton in which a 17-year-old Giggs replaced a hamstrung Denis Irwin after Everton's first goal to make his debut.

Two decades at the top makes Ryan Giggs a freak of the modern game. Even when casting back through the English game's history, there are none whose careers have lasted so long at such a high level. Sir Stanley Matthews may have been playing at 50 but was not a stranger to the Second Division.

At Manchester United, Giggs is already by far the longest-serving player in the club's history. Munich survivors Bill Foulkes and Bobby Charlton both played just under 17 years for the club while Billy Meredith, United's first "Welsh Wizard", may have played for fully 30 years from 1894 to 1924, but spent much of that time in the colours of Manchester City. Giggs has remained a singular player in the English game, and is similarly admired across Europe too. He thanks an inherited physiology and the right advice for a longevity that is enhanced in focus by casting back the mind to the club whose first-team he first lined up for on March 2, 1991. Giggs and Alex Ferguson, as he was then, may remain, but Manchester United is a very different beast indeed. Indeed, March 1991 was a time when the club were preparing to float on the Stock Exchange and were majority-owned by a local clan in the Edwards family, formerly involved in the butchery business.

An Everton victory at Old Trafford may be a rare thing these days, but was not unusual at a time when the Toffees had been champions as recently as 1987. United's last title had come way back in 1967. On the Wednesday before this Saturday 3pm kick-off, quaint in itself, Everton had dumped a newly Dalglish-less Liverpool from the FA Cup while both teams had given up on title ambitions long before they met here. Everton continued a revival under the returned Howard Kendall with goals from Pat Nevin and Dave Watson and such a result barely served as a surprise. The significance of this occasion would take some time to be recognised.

This Manchester United vintage had their mind on other things. Like now, they had European ambitions, though that was an unfamiliarity in itself. The summer of 1990 had seen the end of the five-year European competition ban imposed after the Heysel Stadium Disaster at the 1985 European Cup final.

Champions Liverpool's ban was extended for a season for their fans' behaviour at Heysel, so along with Aston Villa, who had finished runners-up, United were once again English pioneers in Europe, competing in the now-defunct European Cup Winners' Cup. May of 1990 had seen them end a five-year trophy drought with the FA Cup, a goal from Lee Martin winning a replayed final against Crystal Palace.

After an encounter with hairy Hungarians Pecsi Munkas and the local glamour of a trip to Welsh Cup holders Wrexham, the following Wednesday would see Montpellier welcomed to Manchester. A French outfit who boasted Carlos Valderrama and Laurent Blanc in their ranks, La Paillade lay in wait in the quarter-finals, and the Everton match saw coach Henry Casperczak watching from Old Trafford's Main Stand as United lost their first home game since October.

The exotica of the French club's continental stars was not matched by Manchester United on this particular afternoon, and nor could it be. United was a club without European influence. As they would do until the late-season addition of Russian Andrei Kanchelskis, they lined up with an all-British Isles starting XI, with Irwin, Northern Ireland's Mal Donaghy, Scotland's Brian McClair and Darren Ferguson plus Wales' Clayton Blackmore providing as foreign an edge as could then be offered. It would take Kanchelskis' arrival and the summer purchase of Peter Schmeichel to move the club on the road to the league of nations it currently represents. That enforced isolation from the continent, and the failure of players like Jesper Olsen and Nikola Jovanovic to impose themselves at Old Trafford had served to keep them parochial, though Eric Cantona, a former Montpellier man, would alter the culture forever the following year.

United's true stars at the time were Bryan Robson and Mark Hughes, and both were returning from injury and were not risked here. By this time, the former's match-winning influence had been lessened by the regularity of his absences and he was replaced here by Darren Ferguson, the manager's son making his first start for his dad's team. That Giggs went unnoticed and unheralded by many on that muddy afternoon reflected the fact that Ferguson Snr had made use of several youth players in recent years and many of them had been and gone in very little time indeed.

Some had lasted and made an impact: Martin, Hughes and Blackmore were products of The Cliff, an arcane training facility in Salford eventually replaced by the hi-tech modernity of Carrington in 2000. But sat on the bench alongside Giggs was Russell Beardsmore, a wiry and bucktoothed midfielder who had arrived in the first team as a member of an early and largely ill-fated group of "Fergie Fledglings". That group, named in deference to the famous "Busby Babes" had enjoyed a flush of success when Liverpool had been beaten on New Year's Day 1989 but players like Beardsmore, David Wilson, Mark Robins and Deiniol Graham were eventually forced to seek first-team football elsewhere while Tony Gill's career had been ended by injury.

The Observer's Patrick Barclay had obviously received advanced notices from his Old Trafford snouts, describing Giggs as "a wiry 17-year-old recently given a five-year contract and the most talked-about prospect at Old Trafford since [Norman] Whiteside". And indeed, there had been quite some buzz about Giggs, or Ryan Wilson as he was initially known until a name change to reflect his loyalty to his mother in the face of his parents' divorce.

"I shall always remember my first sight of him, floating over the pitch at The Cliff so effortlessly that you would have sworn his feet weren't touching the ground," said Ferguson in his autobiography of his initial encountering of the 14-year-old Wilson. "He carried his head high and he looked as relaxed and natural on the park as a dog chasing a piece of silver paper in the wind. From that moment on, we protected Ryan like the treasure he was."

Long before that Everton bow, Charlton, the man he would eventually surpass, was already a confirmed fan as was youth coach Brian Kidd, the softly-spoken Mancunian serving as a mentor for Giggs and his contemporaries at that time. Meanwhile, Giggs' eventual position of left winger had an incumbent, another flushed with youth, though one bought in from Torquay at 17 in late 1988. This had been 19-year-old Lee Sharpe's breakthrough season, a League Cup hat-trick at Arsenal, runaway champions that year, and a series of pacy dissolutions of right-backs had caused him to be viewed by fans and team-mates as their prime attacking weapon. On this occasion, Barclay's view from the press box was that "United's only obvious tactic (was) that of getting the ball to their left winger as often as possible (which) foundered on his inability to get over a single decent cross".

After Irwin limped off, Giggs' arrival came earlier than expected and a reshuffle had him playing in an advanced position off McClair, but this was no wonder debut in the style that Cristiano Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney would both later produce. In Barclay's view, Giggs "failed to find his feet until well into the second half when the Stretford End were encouraged by a superb cross".

That part of Old Trafford would soon become acquainted with such a sight, though Giggs would have to wait until the following season to bed in and become part of the furniture at what has since become English's football's most potent winning machine. Twenty years on, few could dispute his status among United's greatest ever players.

"Looking back now," Ferguson wrote, "I feel I can honestly say that whatever United have paid me in my 13 years at Old Trafford was justified at a stroke by securing Ryan." And that was a statement delivered way back in 1999.

What happened next? United would squeeze past Montpellier in the Cup Winners' Cup after a home draw, and eventually beat Barcelona in a rain-drenched but still cherished final in Rotterdam. They also lost the League Cup final to Sheffield Wednesday and finished sixth in the Football League, a place behind Manchester City - the last time that occurred. The following season saw Giggs become a first-team regular, to the displacement of Sharpe, who began to suffer the injuries and distractions that eventually halted his development. United, however, blew their title challenge in 1991-92 in a disastrous 11-day period before finally breaking the hoodoo with the first Premier League title the following May. Giggs eventually surpassed Charlton's United appearance record of 759 matches when coming on as a sub in the 2008 Champions League final. Having signed a new contract last month, Giggs will be a United player at least until the summer of 2012.

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.