Manchester United announce Ryan Giggs’ departure

Manchester United v Arsenal...BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 4:  Ryan Giggs celebrates scoring a magnificent winning goal for United as they defeat Arsenal 2-1 in extra time during the 1999 FA Cup Semifinal Replay on April 14th, 1999 at Villa Park.  (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Manchester United have announced the departure of club legend and former assistant manager Ryan Giggs to end the Welshman’s 29-year association with the club.

Ryan Giggs said: “After 29 seasons at Manchester United as a player and assistant manager, I know winning is in the DNA of this club – giving youth a chance, and playing attacking and exciting football. It’s healthy to have high expectations, it’s right to expect to win. Manchester United expects, deserves, nothing less.

“This is why it is a huge decision for me to step away from the club that has been my life since the age of 14. It has not been a decision that I have made lightly. I’ll take away so many special memories as well as a lifetime of experiences that will, I hope, serve me well in the future.

“However, the time feels right and, although I have no immediate plans to step into management, it is where I want to be.

The 42-year-old is keen to pursue a managerial career elsewhere since he was overlooked for his dream job twice in three years as Man Utd opted to appoint Louis van Gaal in 2014 and Jose Mourinho earlier this summer.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate in having two great managerial mentors; first in Sir Alex, who I’ve spent the majority of my life working with and learning from and who I believe will remain as football’s greatest-ever manager and in more recent times, Louis van Gaal, whose CV speaks for itself. The knowledge I have gleaned from them has been invaluable,” he added.

“I want to reiterate my thanks to the backroom staff and support teams at Manchester United I’ve worked with over the years. The results on the pitch are a reflection of the hard work off it. I would not have achieved the success I have without the dedication, sacrifice and commitment of these people in creating the best environment for the team to succeed.

Giggs was widely expected to leave the Old Trafford outfit since the appointment of Jose Mourinho as the new manager of the 20 times English champions despite reports that the former Real Madrid and Chelsea boss offered the Welshman a role in his backroom staff.

“I want to congratulate José Mourinho on his appointment as manager of the world’s biggest club. There are only a handful of proven winners at the very highest level and José is unquestionably one of them. I know the fans will welcome him.

“My final thank you is to the fans. I cannot begin to tell you how much I will miss walking out at Old Trafford in front of you. It’s extremely difficult to say goodbye after 29 years. I have loved every minute both as a player and assistant manager. The support you have always shown me has been phenomenal; thank you.

“It’s time for a new chapter and a new challenge. I’m excited about the future – I’ve had the best apprenticeship into management anyone could ever ask for.”

Giggs joined Man Utd as a 14-year-old youngster before becoming the most decorated player in the club’s history, winning 34 major titles including 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, four League Cups, nine Community Shields, and two Champions League trophies.

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