An experienced European campaigner who has seen it all before on UEFA Champions League nights, Ryan Giggs is hoping for another memorable Old Trafford occasion when FC Bayern München arrive for the conclusion of their quarter-final tie holding a 2-1 lead.
For almost 15 years, the veteran winger has been part of a Manchester United FC squad which has continuously welcomed some of the continent's most illustrious names to north-west England. In terms of stature few can rival Bayern and with a deficit to overturn after the first leg last Tuesday, Giggs knows just how important it is that the fans make themselves heard once again.
"We've all seen so many great nights in Europe at Old Trafford," the 36-year-old said. "
There really is no better feeling as a player with the crowd behind you on a Wednesday night. This is what you become a footballer for. It's something different on these types of nights and you can feel it. Hopefully we can produce one of our big performances. You know what will come if you play well. If we're keeping the ball, have the crowd behind us, and are constantly attacking, we can really put them under pressure. It makes it very difficult for our opponents."
Giggs is one of two survivors of the teams' most memorable encounter, the 1999 final, available to feature on Wednesday. On that occasion, United recovered from a goal down to lift European club football's biggest prize thanks to two late strikes in Barcelona. Bayern turned the tables in the first leg, however, when Ivica Olić struck an added-time winner. Giggs is not underestimating the scale of the task United − striving to avoid a third consecutive defeat for the first time since 2001 – face, but remains confident of succeeding.
"The belief is there that we can go out and win the game," Giggs added. "Our preparation has been good. We have trained well this week and, as a professional, when you have a couple of bad results you want to bounce back from that. Of course, we want to get off to a good start, but Bayern are a strong team. We played them in pre-season, so we knew they were a good side from the start.
"They have strength in depth and experience in the Champions League.
I don't think we underestimated them in the first game but perhaps we didn't play our best over in Germany either. It's important we get it right from the start this time."
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