Every Season of Ryan Giggs' Professional Career - Ranked

Robbie Copeland
Giggs is one of the most celebrated players in Premier League history
Giggs is one of the most celebrated players in Premier League history / PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

Ryan Giggs, eh? The Welshman who played beyond his 40th birthday, and - at the time of writing - holds the all-time appearance and assists record for the Premier League.

Every one of Sir Alex Ferguson's 13 league titles, from 1993 through 2013, was won with Giggs marshalling his troops on the pitch. In reflection of such a staggeringly successful career, we've taken a look back, and ranked all 24 of his seasons as a professional.


24. 1990/91

A young Giggs with his eye on the ball
A young Giggs with his eye on the ball / Getty Images/Getty Images

It feels unfair to even count Giggs' first ever season, given that he only became professional towards the turn of the year. 1990/91 saw him given his debut by Sir Alex Ferguson, however, while he also netted his first goal, it's been debated whether that was a Colin Hendry own goal or not.

He only managed two appearances with Lee Sharpe holding down the left-wing starting spot, but there was plenty more to come.


23. 2013/14

Giggs was named interim manager after hanging up his boots
Giggs was named interim manager after hanging up his boots / Clive Rose/Getty Images

The last season of Giggs' career was a scarring one, As he turned 40, he played a bit part role in a United team that unravelled so much of the great work done by Ferguson, and finished 7th in the Premier League.

He ended up replacing David Moyes as interim manager towards the end of the season.


22. 2011/12

Giggs takes a free-kick against Tottenham
Giggs takes a free-kick against Tottenham / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

OK, so Giggs was really now starting to resemble your trendy grandad, but still wasn't hanging up the boots. His goal against Fulham marked out 2011/12 as the 21st consecutive league season in which Giggs scored a goal for United - a record we can comfortably say will never be surpassed.

The season itself was a bit...meh. Ferguson's tenure was now winding down, and a Community Shield was as good as it got for now.


21. 1994/95

Giggs off on one of his trademark lung-bursting dribbles
Giggs off on one of his trademark lung-bursting dribbles / Ben Radford/Getty Images

After a hugely promising start to his United career established him as one of the most exciting young players on planet earth, 1994/95 seriously stunted his momentum.

A serious injury kept him on the sidelines for most of the campaign, and his absence resulted in United winning just the Community Shield - a pretty massive failure considering what had come before.


20. 2005/06

His campaign was struck with injury but he remained an influential player
His campaign was struck with injury but he remained an influential player / AFP/Getty Images

Injuries were beginning to take their toll on the Welshman by this stage in his career. He had played a hell of a lot of football for a player at 32, but despite managing just 27 league appearances, he retained a lot of creative influence.

This was the year he was inducted into the English football hall of fame.


19. 2001/02

Giggs, wearing the captain's armband, celebrates with David Beckham
Giggs, wearing the captain's armband, celebrates with David Beckham / Odd Andersen/Getty Images

Places in the PFA Team of the Year, Premier League Team of the Decade, the Champions League 10 Seasons Dream Team and a Manchester United testimonial. 01/02 was quite nice for Giggs, even if his performances didn't live up to the reputation he had established over the past decade.

United failed to win anything - the first season that had happened since 1989.


18. 2004/05

Gary Holt takes a swing at Giggs with minimal success
Gary Holt takes a swing at Giggs with minimal success / PAUL BARKER/Getty Images

It says a lot about Giggs that this was one of his and United's tumbleweed seasons, yet he scored or assisted a goal at an average of one every two games.


17. 2010/11

Giggs celebrates with his team-mates after scoring against Fulham
Giggs celebrates with his team-mates after scoring against Fulham / Clive Rose/Getty Images

The 'Giggs will play til he's 40' shouts were actually beginning to seem like a reality now. He turned 37 in 2010 and was still proving to be an effective contributor.

Somehow he had moved into his 20th year with United and although starts were now at a premium, he continued to do the business when called upon.


16. 1996/97

Giggs' first venture into the late stages of the European Cup was a fruitful one
Giggs' first venture into the late stages of the European Cup was a fruitful one / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A run to the Champions League semi-finals was the furthest United had got in the competition in almost 30 years, having failed to advance beyond the second round since reaching the semis in 1969.

Giggs impressed in that run and made a name for himself with goals against Rapid Vienna and Porto, before Borussia Dortmund ended their European dream.


15. 2000/01

Ruud van Nistelrooy benefitted from the Welshman's wizardry
Ruud van Nistelrooy benefitted from the Welshman's wizardry / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

His United career entered its 11th season, Giggs won the seventh league title of his career. Really stupid levels of success.

Individually it was another steady season, if an unremarkable one by his lofty standards. New arrival Ruud van Nistelrooy was the latest to benefit from his creative mastery as United cleared Arsenal by ten points in the title race.


14. 2012/13

Ferguson embraces Giggs following the Premier League title win
Ferguson embraces Giggs following the Premier League title win / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Ferguson's final season was an emotional one for United and the rest of English football, as the man universally accepted as the best manager ever stepped aside following 27 years of service.

As the only surviving member of his first title success all the way back in 1993, it was a particularly poignant season for Giggs, who helped give the gaffer an almighty send off.

Title number 13 followed, because of course it did.


13. 2007/08

Manchester United celebrate their third European Cup
Manchester United celebrate their third European Cup / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

In 2007/08, he scored his 100th league goal and surpassed Bobby Charlton's all-time appearance record, when he made his 759th from the bench in the Champions League final.

United, naturally, won that - marking the second league and Champions League double of Giggs' career.


12. 2002/03

Giggs skips past Blackburn's Craig Short
Giggs skips past Blackburn's Craig Short / Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Van Nistelrooy's 44 (forty-four) goals this season was the most any United player had managed since Denis Law in 1963, and the second most in the club's history.

But while it was the Dutchman who grabbed all the headlines, Giggs quietly enjoyed a prolific season of his own. Contributing directly to 27 goals, he helped United return to the pinnacle of English football, while a strong Champions League showing was ended at the quarter-final stage by Real Madrid.


11. 2009/10

The Welshman was determined to end his career with a bang
The Welshman was determined to end his career with a bang / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

There can be no denying that Giggs was winding down his career by this point but he was still an integral part of the United squad. He registered three assists in a single Manchester Derby, including Michael Owen's controversial late winner, though United would finally yield their stranglehold on the league title.

He won the Sports Personality of the Year Award and, despite being 36, extended his contract at United through 2011.


10. 1999/2000

United lift the Intercontinental Cup
United lift the Intercontinental Cup / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

As the century turned and the world didn't end, United won their sixth league title in eight years. It was getting boring.

Giggs was named man of the match against Palmeiras as United became the first English side to win the Intercontinental Cup, and he registered 12 league assists - the best single-season tally in his career up to this point.


9. 2003/04

Giggs and Ronaldo were a force to be reckoned with
Giggs and Ronaldo were a force to be reckoned with / PAUL BARKER/Getty Images

This season is best known for being Cristiano Ronaldo's first as a Manchester United player. It's second-best known for being the season Rio Ferdinand missed a drugs test and got banned from playing football for eight months.

It's not really known for anything Giggs did, since his consistent performances were by now the norm. But still, he single-handedly won them the FA Cup, assisting eight of their 15 goals on the way to a final romp of Milwall, and that deserves some recognition.


8. 2006/07

Giggs helped bring the best out in Rooney and Ronaldo.
Giggs helped bring the best out in Rooney and Ronaldo. / STRINGER/Getty Images

Three title-less seasons prompted a Ferguson rebuild, and a new three-pronged attack was formed, with Giggs turning creator for the prolific Rooney and Ronaldo.

The results were lethal and immediate - United returned to top spot and seven of their players, including Giggs, were named in the PFA Team of the Year.


7. 1991/92

1991/92 was Giggs' breakthrough season
1991/92 was Giggs' breakthrough season / Getty Images/Getty Images

Giggs' breakthrough season saw United edge ever closer to the summit of the table but they would have to wait another year before bringing home the bacon.

A fresh-faced Giggs made more than 50 appearances, and earned himself the PFA Young Player of the Year Award to go along with his League Cup and UEFA Super Cup winners' medals.


6. 1995/96

Giggs celebrates clinching the third league title of his career
Giggs celebrates clinching the third league title of his career / Getty Images/Getty Images

Giggs was joined by the Neville brothers, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Nicky Butt as 'Fergie's Fledglings' now made up the core of a dominant United first team.

The Welshman netted a goal of the season contender against Everton in September which set the tone for a return to form from a United team who had just yielded their title. They reclaimed their crown, and beat Liverpool to win the FA Cup - decent going, really.


5. 1998/99

Giggs finishes off his iconic run against Arsenal
Giggs finishes off his iconic run against Arsenal / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

1999 saw Giggs score one of the best goals English football has ever seen, that slaloming run against Arsenal capped off by his famous hairy-chested shirt-swinging celebration.

He wasn't at his best over the course of the season, owing largely to injuries, but it was an historic one for United - they became the only team in English football history to win the league, FA Cup and European Cup, a unique treble that hasn't since been repeated.


4. 1997/98

Giggs was at his best despite United's struggles
Giggs was at his best despite United's struggles / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Collectively, 1997/98 was poor for United, but individually, Giggs was on fire. He didn't lift a major trophy, but his nine goals and 15 assists won him the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award for the first and only time in his career.


3. 2008/09

Giggs celebrates scoring in the Champions League against Celtic, despite now being of pension age
Giggs celebrates scoring in the Champions League against Celtic, despite now being of pension age / Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Normal, you know, mortal people, tend to wind things down around the time of their 35th birthday. But Giggs thought nah, patch that; deployed in central midfield by Ferguson for the first time, he found a new rhythm, and went on to register 21 goal involvements in 47 appearances.

He won the PFA Players' Player of the Year award for the only time in his career thanks to his extraordinary efforts, and helped United to a third successive league title.


2. 1992/93

How's your touch, Giggsy?
How's your touch, Giggsy? / Getty Images/Getty Images

1993 will always have a special place in the hearts of all United fans. It had been 25 years since they last lifted the league title, but Ferguson had them back on top of the mountain.

Despite not even being 20 yet, Giggs was well established by this point. He won the PFA Young Player of the Year award for the second year running and was rapidly approaching 100 senior appearances.


1. 1993/94

Giggs challenges Chelsea's Steve Clarke
Giggs challenges Chelsea's Steve Clarke / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Following their maiden title success in 1992/93, United secured the services of a certain 21-year-old Roy Keane from Nottingham Forest. The Irishman joined Giggs in midfield, and the net result was a league and FA Cup double.

Giggs broke double figures in league goals for the first time, and averaged a goal every three games in all competitions - his 17 strikes the most he would ever manage in a single campaign.

facebooktwitterreddit