Ryan Giggs: Firing at 40

Updated 11:12 AM ET, Tue May 6, 2014
ryan giggs coach ryan giggs coach
1 of 9
Ryan Giggs; the man who has been at Manchester United as a young player, an established veteran, a captain and now an interim-manager. With the Welshman's temporary spell on the sidelines set to end this week, CNN has a look at the career of a Manchester United legend. ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
Ryan Giggs celebrated his 40th birthday in November. The midfielder is into the tail end of a playing career which is now in its third decade. Alex Livesey/Getty Images
The Welsh winger made his first team debut for United aged just 17, coming on as a substitute in a 2-0 defeat by Everton in 1991. David Cannon/Allsport
Giggs quickly established himself as a key member of the United team which went on to dominate English football. Alex Ferguson's team was crowned champions of Europe in 1999, two late goals securing a dramatic 2-1 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Alex Livesey /Allsport/file
Along with David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Gary and Phil Neville, Giggs was part of a group known as the "Class of 92." The name refers to the year United won the FA Youth Cup, with that group of players forming the core of United's Champions League-winning side. Alex Livesey /Allsport/file
In recognition of his services to football, Giggs was made an Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth in 2007. JOHNNY GREEN/AFP/Getty Images/file
In 2008 United were once again in the Champions League final, this time against Chelsea. The match was level at 1-1 after extra time, Giggs scored his penalty in the shootout as Alex Ferguson's team went on to lift the European Cup once more. Jamie McDonald/Getty Images/file
AC Milan stalwart Paolo Maldini is another player who spent his entire career at the top level. The rock-solid defender retired aged 40 in 2009 after 24 years with the Rossoneri. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images/file
Brazil striker Romario kept going into his 40s. The aging striker, the star of Brazil's 1994 World Cup winning team, eventually retired in 2008, before a brief comeback in 2009, saying he was struggling to regulate his weight. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images/file