• Premier League

Giggs expects to see more over-40s in football

ESPN staff
March 27, 2013
Ryan Giggs believes Sir Alex Ferguson has played a crucial role in his own longevity © PA Photos

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs believes it is only a matter of time before more Premier League players are able to go on into their 40s.

Giggs, 39, has made over 1000 career appearances and will become a member of the 40-club himself next season after signing a one-year contract extension with Manchester United earlier this season.

Excluding ten goalkeepers, only Gordon Strachan and Giggs' former Red Devils team-mate Teddy Sheringham have achieved that feat.

However, the Welshman says that due to the advances made in sports science in the game, it is becoming easier for players to prolong their careers if they feel up to the task.

"There are two ways of looking at it,'' Giggs told MUTV. "Players are getting a lot of money now. Do they want to play on to their late 30s? But there is the other side.

"With the involvement of sports science, players looking after themselves more - and the facilities are so much better. So if they want to, and if they have the desire, players can go on a lot longer than they used to.

"As you enter your 30s, you are just trying to play for as long as you can and get as much out of the game as you can. Luckily, I have managed to stay injury-free and also had the continuity of the manager. I have looked after myself as well, but no-one could envisage getting to 1000 games.''

Despite his age, Giggs could well feature in both of United's two fixtures taking place within 48 hours of each other over the Easter weekend. The Red Devils face a Premier League trip to Sunderland on Saturday followed by Monday's FA Cup quarter-final replay at Chelsea.

"It is strange to have two important games in such a short space of time,'' he said. "But I guess it was a question of trying to fit it in. The squad is looking good at the minute and hopefully after the international break everyone will have a fully fit squad and we will be able to handle two games in 48 hours.''

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