Ryan Giggs: I wanted to resign from football after Rome defeat
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Ryan Giggs: I wanted to resign from football after Rome defeat

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Ryan Giggs: I wanted to resign from football after Rome defeat

Former Manchester United captain, Ryan Giggs, has revealed that he considered retiring from football after his side lost to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona at the 2009 Champions League final in Rome.

While speaking to Telegraph, London, the Welsh football coach and co-owner of Salford City hinted on the details of the build-up of the match that ended 2-0 , saying that circumstances that were beyond them costed them the Champions League trophy against the Spanish giant that year.

“The first occasion I faced a Pep Guardiola team, I sat alone on the team coach after the match and for the first time in my playing career I thought seriously about retiring from football. That was the 2009 Champions League final in Rome, forever in my mind the lowest point of my 23 years as a professional footballer,” he said.

“But if you go back to the details of the build-up to the match, there are aspects that might surprise you. For starters, we were favourites to win, we had been in great form since the turn of the year, yet as soon as we arrived in Rome things started to go wrong.

“The hotel was terrible. A small detail? Perhaps, but when you are playing a Champions League final the little things can be a big deal.

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“Being captain that day, I also look back at the chance to have lifted the trophy. It would have been a wonderful moment. Most of all I look back with regret that as captain I should have led by example, and I did not have my best game.

“Looking back on 2009, in the aftermath of the game in Rome, in the hours and days that followed I was close to retiring,” Giggs added.

Ryan Giggs, who played five more years for Manchester United after the Rome experience, said perhaps he has Guardiola in part to thank for the measures he took to stay at the top for those five years, and that he learnt never to make decisions quickly in the round-leather game.

“I was 35 in 2009 and I would go on to play another five seasons for United. I am glad I did not miss out on all the experiences and the three major trophies that followed.

“I resolved then never to make decisions quickly in football, but to take my time and see how life panned out. That defeat made me re-examine my game and ask myself what I could do to improve.

“Perhaps I have Guardiola in part to thank for the measures I took to stay at the top for those last five years. Although I know now, as I knew then, that I never want to feel the way about football I did that May night in Rome seven years ago,” he concluded.

Giggs is a United legend, as he spent his entire professional career playing for the Reds. He won 13 Premier League winner’s medals, four FA Cup winner’s medals, three League Cup winner’s medals, two UEFA Champions League winner’s medals, a FIFA Club World Cup winners medal, an Intercontinental Cup winner’s medal, a UEFA Super Cup winner’s medal and nine FA Community Shield winner’s medals.

 

 

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