The guy taking over as interim manager of Manchester United isn’t your typical manager.
Rather than promoting an assistant coach, the famed English Premier League club turned to Ryan Giggs, who will take over as player-manager for the final four games of the season.
Here’s what you need to know about Giggs’ promotion:
1. It Came the Same Day that Moyes Was Dumped
The club made headlines Monday when it announced that it was parting ways with the 50-year-old Moyes, who took over last year and was let go after just 10 months, the third-shortest tenure in United managerial history. Moyes had announced just after his appointment that the veteran Giggs had been appointed as a player/coach.
2. He’s Been With Manchester United Since 1990
Giggs has been a legend with Manchester United since his first goal against Manchester City back in 1991. He made his debut in 1990 as a teenager. During his youth he was one of the most sought after talents in world soccer as well as being a star rugby league talent, like his father before him. In 1994, Manchester United rejected a $15 million offer from AC Milan for him. Though he stayed loyal to Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson and remained with the team since 1990.
Watch the video above for a recap of his accomplishments.
3. The Club Isn’t Saying a Whole Lot
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 22, 2014
The club’s statement on Giggs’ promotion was extremely brief. The entire statement on the club’s website reads as follows:
Following the departure of David Moyes as manager, Manchester United has announced that Ryan Giggs, the club’s most decorated player, will assume responsibility for the first team until a permanent appointment can be made. The club will make no further comment on this process until it is concluded.
Bookies have made Giggs the second favorite to take over the role as Man United manager. It would seem highly unlikely that Manchester United American owners would take another chance on a coach rather than hire an established successful manager. Louis van Gaal, manager of the Dutch national team, is the betting favorite to take over the job full-time.
Van Gaal, known for preaching the “Total Football” philosophy, won’t be available until after the World Cup because of his commitment to the Dutch national team.
4. He’s One of the Most Decorated Players in World Soccer
Among the honors Giggs has won is BBC’s 2009 Sports Personality of the Year. He also won the 2011 Golden Foot Award, given to the best player and personality in European football. That not even to mention all of the success he’s had with Manchester United. Winning the EPL Championship an astonishing 13 times as well as the European Champions League twice and a ton of other medals. All that though, but he never played in the World Cup.
5. He Had an Affair With his Sister-in-Law
In 2011, Giggs attracted huge controversy when it emerged that he had an affair with his sister-in-law. His previous squeaky clean public image was affected by the incident. The legendary player only served to draw more attention to the scandal when he had a super-injunction approved by a court which meant he couldn’t be named in any media reports about the affair. It became one of the worst kept secrets in the UK. Eventually, the super-injunction was voided when Giggs’ name was mentioned in the UK parliament as being responsible for the super-injunction. This meant that he could be named by the media because his name was now on public record in relation to the scandal.
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