Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs has expressed delights about his recent achievement of breaking Raul’s record for the most appearances in the Champions League.
The 39-year-old veteran came off the bench in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk to feature in his 145th game, including qualifying matches, in Europe’s elite club competition.
Giggs, who lifted the trophy in 1999 and in 2008 had drawn level with Raul in March’s defeat to Real Madrid.
“It means a lot,” Giggs told MUTV. “It’s the pinnacle of European football and to play that many games is obviously special.”
Although the ex-Real striker still holds the record for appearances excluding qualifiers (142 to the Welshman’s 135), Giggs now top the list of players with the Uefa Champions League most appearances (including qualifiers).
He heads a list which also includes the likes of Paolo Maldini (140 appearances), Xavi (136 appearances), Clearance Seedorf (131 appearances) and teammate Paul Scholes (130 appearances).
United manager David Moyes joined in saluting the player-coach, saying: “It was fantastic. He knew he was going to come off the bench to do it, but what an achievement and what a player.”
In 2008 Champions League final triumph over Chelsea, Giggs eloped Sir Bobby Charlton’s previous best 757 Manchester United appearances. His appearances has skyrocketed to a staggering 947 since then, making him the only player at the club to have donned the club’s shirt on that many occassions.
Wednesday’s draw against Shakhtar Donetsk increased united’s point haul to four after two Champions League matches.
“We are in a good position. Hopefully we can get a few victories from the next couple of games,” Giggs expressed optimism about United’s chances of reaching the last 16.