Manchester United FC winger Ryan Giggs has joined the select band of players to have made a century of UEFA Champions League appearances.
The 34-year-old has become the eighth man to reach that milestone with his starting appearance in United's first knockout round match away to Olympique Lyonnais. Giggs moves alongside former team-mate David Beckham and into an exclusive club that counts Real Madrid CF skipper Raúl González – on 114 appearances – as its founder member.
Giggs's crowning glory in the competition came when he helped United win the 1998/99 final, beating FC Bayern München 2-1 in Barcelona. The former Welsh international set up Teddy Sheringham for the equaliser, before Ole Gunnar Solksjær's equally last-gasp clincher. Two other veterans of 1999, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, have both featured 98 times in the tournament.
Giggs is also the only player to have scored in 12 successive UEFA Champions League seasons. He should be accustomed to passing landmarks after netting his 100th goal in England's top flight in December, and having earlier achieved 500 league appearances. A United debutant in March 1991, the wide man is the longest-serving player at Old Trafford.
He returned to the side to face Lyon after being rested for Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round victory over Arsenal FC. It was another FA Cup win against the north London club which possibly provided the most iconic moment of Giggs's career. In the 1998/99 semi-final, he collected a loose ball in midfield, raced through the Arsenal defence and smashed a near-post effort past David Seaman to decide the match. If lacking some of the pace that made him so feared during his youth, he remains a key member of Sir Alex Ferguson's squad.
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