Giggs reveals the secret behind his 20-years of success at Old Trafford

Ryan Giggs says the secret behind his illustrious 20-year Manchester United career is never being satisfied with what he has won.

Having won 11 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two Champions Leagues and three League Cups, Giggs could be forgiven for feeling content with all he has achieved.

But at 37, Giggs remains as hungry for glory as the raw 17-year-old who made his United debut on March 2 1991, insisting trophies, rather than the trappings of success, remain the driving force.

"You see footballers with the flash cars, lots of money and nice house," said Giggs. "But for the players who win things, that doesn't come into the reckoning.

"I'm really proud to have played for United for 20 years. When you start out, you never think that's going to happen.

"At the beginning it's just that desire to get into the first-team and stay there.

"Then, in later years, the desire is still there, the challenge is still there and you enjoy it more when you're older because you savour it."

Sir Alex Ferguson has described Giggs as "phenomenal" for his unique longevity and hailed him as the greatest Premier League player of all time because of his enduring excellence.

Giggs, who will start for United at Chelsea tonight, puts his continued success down to a combination of natural talent and a conscious decision early in his career to lead his life away from the glare of public scrutiny.

"It's not one thing," said Giggs. "It's a mixture. First of all, what you're born with - genetics. Then you couple that with trying to live your life the right way.

"When I got into the first-team there was a lot of hype [around me] with celebrity girlfriends and photographers following me all over the place.

"I made a conscious decision that I didn't really like it and wanted to keep a low profile. I've tried to do that as much as you can do in this day and age.

"It's probably harder now because information is there straight away with Twitter and Facebook. As soon as something happens it's there around the world.

"But you can still shy away from it. If you live a relatively quiet life you can just concentrate on your football and be as professional as you can. You've got to do that to last as long as I have.

"I remember in my first full season, the Today newspaper ran a week-long feature delving into my family, my dad's family, the rift between my mum and dad, that sort of thing.

"I was 18 or 19 at the time and I didn't like it. It wakes you up quickly and toughens you up."

Giggs has signed a contract extension with United to play on until the end of next season, when he will most likely call it a day. But he cannot see his mentor Fergie, who turns 70 in December, quitting any time soon.

"I just can't see the gaffer leaving in the near future," said Giggs. "I think he'll be around a lot longer than me.

"It will be a massive challenge [to replace him]. We're talking about the most successful manager ever. But he's constantly evolving, trying to get the age of the team right, so that will help the next manager.

"A manager normally takes over when a team is struggling, but hopefully this team will be in good shape. It's not impossible [for Fergie's successor] but it's going to be tough."

Giggs will certainly be an impossible act to follow. With 862 appearances and 158 goals, his status as United's most decorated player is unlikely to be surpassed.

"It's going to be tough," said Giggs. "You're talking about a player coming into a successful team at the age of 17 and staying there for 20 years. It's not impossible, but I'd probably imagine not."

  • Related keywords: Ryan Giggs, Manchester United
  • Advertisement
    Advertisement