Giggs reveals Pogba and Fernandes penalty trick he could never master
The Old Trafford pair are lethal from the spot, while the former winger admits that particular ability was not one of his strongest suits
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has nothing but respect for the prowess current stars Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes have when it comes to taking penalties, admitting that he was never able to read the goalkeeper's reactions like the best takers in the world.
Giggs, now 46, spent his entire professional career at Old Trafford after being snapped up as a teenager.
The former Wales international made a total of 963 appearances for the club over 24 seasons, winning the Premier League on 13 occasions as well as picking up two Champions League winners' medals.
Converting from 12 yards, however, was not one of the ex-winger's strengths, and when he was called upon to take a spot-kick he preferred to keep things simple.
"My technique with penalty taking was - you know you see players looking at the goalkeeper?" he explained to BeIn Sports. "Eden Hazard - I mean he's amazing, he just goes up so slowly, and even Bruno Fernandes now with a little hop.
"I could never do that. My philosophy was: 'I'm putting it low into the corner - even if the goalkeeper goes the right way, he's not gonna save it if I execute it right'. That was my philosophy, so it doesn't matter if he went the right way or not. If I do low, side-netting, he shouldn't be able to save it.
"That was my philosophy, rather than looking at the goalkeeper, trying to play mind games and having the confidence which Hazard and Bruno Fernandes [have]. Pogba did for a while that slow run up. I could never do that."
Fortunately for Giggs, United boasted plenty of accomplished takers throughout the two and a half decades he lined up at Old Trafford, from the lethal Eric Cantona in the 1990s to Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo.
However he did net when it really counted, slotting home his kick in 2008 to help United win their Champions League final shoot-out at the expense of Bayern Munich.
"Because I'd come on as sub, I think beforehand they'd already done the list of penalty takers, and we had some good penalty takers," he recalled. "We had [Carlos] Tevez, Cristiano - who missed, we had Michael Carrick, Owen Hargreaves - obviously with his German background at Bayern he was never going to miss.
"So we had some really good penalty takers before as well. Some penalty takers who would be penalty takers in open play.
"Doubts over where to place the penalty? No, and that was the preparation during the week with Carlos Queiroz the coach.
"We'd practiced, tried to create a realistic atmosphere, which of course is nearly impossible. But [we did] the walk up from the centre-circle, place it, take it seriously, blow the whistle.
"What I'd done that week was I'd took about 15 penalties and scored 14, and the one that I'd missed hit the post - but every one was the same side. So I had the technique already in my head where I was gonna put it, it was just about me holding my nerve."