• Champions League

Giggs denies rift with Moyes ahead of Bayern clash

ESPN staff
March 31, 2014
Ryan Giggs was in captivating form in Manchester United's 3-0 win against Olympiakos © Getty Images

Ryan Giggs said he may bring his 23-year playing career to an end in the summer and denied he has fallen out with Manchester United manager David Moyes.

Giggs has made a record 961 appearances for United but has started just one game since January, leading to suggestions of a poor relationship between the player-coach and manager.

But Giggs, who hopes to face Bayern Munich on Tuesday, is adamant that is not the case and believes that United can spring a surprise by winning the Champions League for a third time in his career.

Kagawa in mix as Moyes sweats on defence

Shinji Kagawa has had limited opportunities at United © PA Photos
  • David Moyes is waiting on the fitness of three defenders ahead od United's clash with Bayern Munich. Rafael da Silva missed training on Monday morning and while Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans did participate, the Northern Irishman, who has not featured for eight weeks, is not thought ready to return.

    He added: "We have defensive issues undoubtedly. I won't be giving out my team today [Tuesday]. But we will, as everyone is aware, have to make one or two changes."

    Shinji Kagawa could be in line for a start against Bayern, in part due to his fine record against the European champions in his Borussia Dortmund days.

    Kagawa was unbeaten in four matches against Bayern in Germany, and Moyes added: "I want see more from Shinji because he's a very good footballer. He is technically gifted and can create good situations."

He said: "The relationship is good. Of course as a player you want to play all the time. I know over the last five or six years you are not going to play every game. The last game was probably my first for seven weeks but you are not sulking. There is no problem with the manager. I don't know where that came from."

Moyes joked: "I'm doing his yoga class now!"

Giggs, who made his United debut in March 1991, sparkled in United's last Champions League game, the 3-0 win over Olympiakos, prompting some to suggest he could play on for another year.

And he admitted he is unsure what his future holds, adding: "I don't know. I am just trying to enjoy this season and then at the end I will take stock and see what I want to do.

"I am enjoying my football as much as ever, I feel fit, and at the end of the season I will see what I want to do."

Giggs accepts that United are not favourites against Bayern but believes that if fortune favours them, they can beat the defending champions.

"Of course it is possible," he said. "You need to play well, to get that little bit of luck which probably last year we didn't have. We were playing well [against Real Madrid] until Nani got sent off.

"Bayern are a fantastic team, they are the holders and Pep Guardiola has took over and added a few new players and favourites in most people's eyes. But we are Manchester United and at Old Trafford we have had so many great nights. We don't see ourselves as underdogs. We see ourselves as Manchester United playing at home."

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Moyes said he was looking forward to the "ultimate test" against Bayern by confidently declaring it will be the first of many occasions when he goes head to head with Pep Guardiola.

While Moyes' future is the subject of speculation with United only seventh in the Premier League and unlikely to qualify for next season's Champions League, the 50-year-old is adamant he will face the former Barcelona coach in the future.

"I am really looking forward to coming up against him," Moyes said. "It is the first time I have done so but I have no doubt I will be doing it many times in the future."

This is Moyes' first full campaign in the Champions League and he added: "It is a really good competition. It has been really good for us so far. I came into it as a really inexperienced manager in the Champions League but we have done well and now we have the ultimate test in Bayern Munich.

"We want to win the game as much as Bayern Munich. We go into the game knowing that on our day we are as good a side as any. We don't show it often enough but I have great belief in the players."

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