Typical of the man, Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs quietly achieved yet another significant milestone in his glorious 16-year career at Old Trafford this weekend. The Welshman's goal in United's 4-1 win over Derby County on Saturday was his 100th English Premier League goal for United, a feat that puts him in some seriously prestigious company, says Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune. Giggs is the 11th man in the club's history to reach 100 league goals; the others are Bobby Charlton, Jack Rowley, Denis Law, Dennis Viollet, Joe Spence, George Best, Stan Pearson, Mark Hughes, David Herd and Tommy Taylor. Noticeably absent from this collection of United greats are names like Eric Cantona, Andy Cole and Ruud van Nistelrooy. Giggs achieved the feat playing predominantly as a winger.
"I am surprised there wasn't an announcement," manager Sir Alex Ferguson said after the match on Saturday. "Ryan's been fantastic, a great servant. Not that many people have scored 100 goals for this club." Indeed, in Ferguson's two decades in charge of United, Mark Hughes (now coach of Blackburn Rovers) is the only other player who reached the same milestone.
In an age when many players hire their own publicists to announce such achievements, the understated Giggs is a breath of fresh air. As Hughes says, had David Beckham earned such an honor (indeed, could David Beckham have earned such an honor?), "we would hear it translated into Japanese and Chinese." Giggs, meanwhile, remains the quiet genius of the left wing, a man who "is truly up there with the gods in United's so-called Theater of Dreams."