London 2012: Man United’s Giggs has Sir Alex’s blessing for Games
Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs insists he has the full backing of Sir Alex Ferguson over his Olympic participation
Ryan Giggs insists he has the full backing of Sir Alex Ferguson as he readies himself to embark as skipper of the Team GB squad at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Ferguson has always put a protective arm around Giggs since the Welshman burst on to the Old Trafford scene aged just 17 – many believing it was the Manchester United manager’s influence that saw him retire from international duty in 2007 after 64 caps to prolong his club career.
Giggs will lead the Great Britain squad at the London Olympics, part of a five-strong Welsh contingent which also includes Craig Bellamy, Joe Allen, Neil Taylor and Aaron Ramsey, while Manchester United complete their pre-season preparations for the new Premier League season in the Far East.
Despite his advancing years, 38-year-old Giggs is still an integral part of Ferguson’s Old Trafford team and so his decision to represent Team GB at the Olympic Games came as a huge surprise to most.
More of a shock has been Ferguson’s relaxed attitude to Giggs’ involvement at the Games – but seemingly not even the persuasive tones of the Old Trafford boss could prevent the winger from taking part in his first major international competitive tournament.
“Sir Alex has supported me from the start,” said Giggs.
“He’s wanted me to be involved and I’m thankful for that. He wants us to do well and he wants me to do well, both personally and the team. I’ve got the full backing of the boss.
“The chance to experience tournament football on home turf is one that I’m looking forward to and can’t pass by.
“It’s just an experience that I never thought would happen, especially after retiring from Wales, and that will always be a disappointment in my career – that I didn’t manage to get to a tournament with Wales.”
Giggs is looking forward to being a positive influence on the young players in Stuart Pearce’s squad and feels the side will play good football.
“It’s as equal an honour as captaining Manchester United and Wales,” he said. “It’s a tremendous honour to captain Great Britain in an Olympics on home turf – I’m looking forward to it.
“I captained English schoolboys, and the next year I played for Wales youth and there was never any doubt in that. It was great experience at the time and was the first time I ever went away.
“There are a lot of talented players in the squad and a lot of experience with the three over-age players, but even with the younger players, they play a lot of good football.”
© Sportsbeat 2012