Ryan Giggs predicts more success for Manchester United's youngsters
Ryan Giggs is certain the current crop of Manchester United players are destined for greater success.
At 37, the veteran Welshman knows he will not be around for too much longer.However, with a 12th Premier League title safely tucked away, Giggs has already committed himself to the Old Trafford cause for one more season, and Sir Alex Ferguson has not given up on the idea his longest-serving player may be around the season after that as well.
No matter how long he lasts, Giggs is sure United have a trophy-laden future ahead of them, regardless of the challenge presented by the emergence of Manchester City.
"This side can go on to more things," he said. "You look around the changing room at Fabio, Rafael, Chris Smalling and Javier Hernández. They will be at the club a long time.
"You can see they love the club purely through the way they play and their manner around the training ground. It is obvious. It is all part of the manager's strategy for keeping things going.
"He has those three tiers. Now it is me, Paul Scholes, Edwin van der Sar and Gary Neville. Then you have those in their late 20s and early 30s and then the younger players.
"We motivate each other. And for the young players to win their first medals and produce the football they are capable of is fantastic."
Indeed, more than any other season, Giggs is certain United's record 19th championship was a collective effort, with selfless contributions from the likes of Park ji-sung and Darren Fletcher and the most consistent performer their captaian, Nemanja Vidic.
"You would find it hard to find a stand-out player this season," said Giggs. "It has been a real group effort. The team spirit has always been good and that has shown in some of the results we have clawed back.
"If you asked 10 United fans for their player of the season, the chances are you would get a different answer off the majority. Who do you pick? That has been key to our success."
This success means more to United because it takes them past Liverpool's long-standing mark of 18 titles. For a lifelong United fan like Giggs, it is an added bonus.
"It was tough as a United fan growing up in the 1970s and 1980s and seeing Liverpool winning everything," he said. "They are our biggest rivals and 20 years ago, when we were 11 behind, this was never on the cards.
"But credit to the manager and the club. We have gradually clawed the lead back and overtaken them. I am no different to any other fan watching Liverpool. Getting into this position is a very special moment."
The midfielder hopes the club can seal a perfect season with victory against Barcelona in the Champions League.
"At the end of the season, you want to win the league and then have something else to look forward to," he said. "We have that chance in the Champions League.
"In 2009 we were beaten in Rome [by Barça] and it was a bad end to the season – even though we had won the league. We didn't do ourselves justice against Barcelona last time. That was the disappointing thing. If we do ourselves justice and get beat then that happens. But hopefully we can play like we know we can this time around."