Ryan Giggs wants revenge over Chelsea
RYAN GIGGS celebrates 20 years since his Manchester United debut this week with revenge over Chelsea on his mind.
The two teams meet at Stamford Bridge tonight and you would think that after 11 titles, the 37-year-old winger would be relaxed about things.
Not a bit of it, because Giggs is still bitter about Carlo Ancelotti's men ruining his summer after taking United's title and completing the Double.
He said: "I don't think about the titles I've won. I just look at the future.
"Last year, for example, when Chelsea won the Double - it winds you up. You don't want it to happen again. You don't want to feel like you did last summer.
"You want to feel like the year before when you won the league. It's not the fear of failure. It's just craving that feeling of winning the title.
"We lost by one point last year and it stays with you.
"You go on holiday, trying to enjoy yourself with the kids, and you do, but then you have a quiet moment, it comes back to you what happened and, I'll say it, you're p****d off. You're on holiday and you're just p****d off."
Just as he was the previous summer when, despite winning the title, United let themselves down in the Champions League final against Barcelona, losing 2-0.
That is something he wants to address and add a third European Cup to his haul.
Giggs said: "The worst I've ever felt was my first full season when we lost the league to Leeds - but the European Cup final in Rome, getting beaten by Barcelona, was a close second. That feeling of emptiness.
"You're on the coach outside the stadium, you know you haven't played well personally and you haven't played well as a team.
"It's the last game of the season and you'll never get it back and you're just gutted.
"We didn't perform. That is the worst thing. At United you pride yourself that when you lose a goal you react. But we didn't that night."
Giggs was a gangly 17-year-old when he came on as a substitute against Everton back on March 2, 1991.
Nobody could have dreamed then that a player who has always relied on his pace and trickery could still be plying his trade at the highest level 20 years on.
He has been sidelined for four games with a calf problem and tight hamstring but will be fit to face Chelsea.
So how does he do it?
Giggs said: "It's not one thing. It's a mix. First of all, what you're born with - genetics.
"Then you couple that with trying to live your life the right way.
"It's a lot easier when you have quality around you, especially when you become older and rely on legs around you. If I didn't, I'm sure I'd have finished two or three years ago.
"At the beginning it's just desire to get in 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 because you can savour it.
"The more you enjoy it, the better you perform."
Giggs has played in all of Alex Ferguson's great teams and against the best. He struggles to name his greatest-ever opponent among the pantheon of world stars he has faced, although he marks out Roy Keane as probably the best he has played alongside.
So what of this team, who have lost only twice this season and are still on for repeating the feats of arguably United's greatest team - the Treble winners of 1999.
Giggs believes the true test of the 2011 vintage is to come over the next few weeks.
It starts with Chelsea tonight, Liverpool away at the weekend, a possible Cup quarter-final with Arsenal then the return against Marseille.
Giggs said: "We've a big few weeks coming and they'll determine how good this team is."
Giggs is nearing the end of his career but continues to unlock defences and has been handed a new 12-month deal.
He also believes Nani is carrying on United's tradition of exciting wingers.
Giggs said: "He has been excellent. As a winger, you look at how many goals you make, how many you score, and he's probably been our most effective player because he's made so many and scored so many important goals."
United will also soon have to face the task of replacing their 69-year-old manager.
Giggs said: "It's not impossible but it's going to be tough. We're talking about the most successful manager ever.
"I don't know if he will be doing the job in 10 years but four or five years, no it wouldn't surprise me, because his desire's still there."
Does Giggs worry about what will fill the void after football?
He said: "I wasn't about three or four years ago but I am now, yeah. I'm wondering what I'm going to do."
WITH MANCHESTER UNITED
Premier League: 11 (1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09)
Champions League: 2 (1998-99, 2007-08)
FA Cup: 4 (1993-94, 1995-96, 1998-99, 2003-04)
League Cup: 3 (1991-92, 2005-06, 2008-09)
Community Shield: 8 (1993, '94, '96, '97, 2003, '07, '08, '10)
Club World Cup: 2008
Intercontinental Cup: 1999
UEFA Super Cup 1991
PFA Players' Player of the Year 2009
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2009
Utd Players' Player of the Year 2006
Wales Player of the Year 1996, 2006
Euro U21 Player of the Year 1998