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Page last updated at 06:12 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 07:12 UK

Giggs tipped as future Wales boss

Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs is Manchester United's record appearance holder

Ryan Giggs has been backed to follow Mark Hughes and begin his managerial career with the Wales national team.

The PFA Player of the Year made his 800th appearance in Manchester United's 1-0 Champions League semi-final victory over Arsenal on Wednesday.

Giggs has completed his Uefa coaching qualifications and former Wales team-mate John Hartson would like him to one day succeed current boss John Toshack.

"He has all the ingredients, he has everyone's respect," Hartson said.

Manchester United's most decorated player has a playing contract until 2010 but the 35-year-old has no plans to retire yet.

Giggs has spent his entire career playing under the most successful manager in British Football and plans to go into coaching once he hangs up his boots.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has hinted he may offer the former Wales captain a coaching contract at Old Trafford to develop the club's younger players when Giggs' playing career comes to an end.

"The coaching is going well," Giggs admitted.

Edwin van der Sar
It is a joy to see how he trains as well as plays. Ryan Giggs shows such dedication every day and sets the example for everyone

Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar

"I've done the A Licence last season, we've finished the course now and have just got to get on the pitch and do some coaching.

"It's difficult with the games coming thick and fast but hopefully I'll get my full badges very soon."

Hartson hopes Giggs follows the example of current Manchester City chief Hughes - another Welsh Manchester United legend - and serve his managerial apprenticeship with Wales.

Hughes' Wales reign started in 1999 as a part-time boss alongside Neville Southall before taking sole charge on a full-time basis, leaving in 2004 to manage Blackburn Rovers.

"I don't see why he can't follow Mark Hughes," former Wales captain Hartson told BBC Sport.

"He has worked with the best British manger; Giggsy's very calm, he is intelligent, he doesn't rant or rave and has universal respect of both players and managers.

"He is a wonderful player and been a great ambassador for Welsh football, he has captained his country and is doing his coaching badges so he would be a good appointment.

"Great players don't always make great managers but I would certainly fight his corner because his longevity at the top deserves the utmost respect.

"Giggsy would certainly put bums on seats but he would need to get results, though."

OTHER 800 CLUB MEMBERS
David Seaman
Peter Shilton, Tony Ford, Ray Clemence, Neil Redfearn, David Seaman, John Trollope, Dave Beasant, Mick Tait, Graham Alexander, Ian Callaghan, Roy Sproson, Stuart McCall, Jimmy Dickinson, Terry Paine, John Burridge, Alan Knight, Frank Worthington, Pat Jennings

Toshack, who celebrated his 60th birthday in March, has been Wales boss since November 2004 and he signed a new two-year contract extension with the Football Association of Wales earlier this year.

Current Wales assistant Dean Saunders, Stoke City boss Tony Pulis, Coventry City manager Chris Coleman and former Wales captain would join Giggs in the running to be the next national team coach.

The only blot against Giggs' otherwise glittering CV is that he never qualified for a major finals during his 64-cap Wales career - going close in Wales Euro 2004 qualifying campaign when Hughes' team lost in a play-off to Russia.

The Cardiff-born player has more than made up for that disappointment during a distinguished 18-year career at Manchester United where his 26 titles include two European crowns, 10 Premier League titles and four FA Cup wins.

Giggs reached another personal landmark on Wednesday as he joined the exclusive 800-game club - becoming the first United player to achieve the feat - when he came on as a second-half substitute for Anderson in United's win over Arsenal at Old Trafford.

"They don't come bigger than that - a Champions League semi-final at Old Trafford.

"But I'm more interested in beating Arsenal rather than the 800th appearance," said Giggs.

"They are things I'll look back upon when I finish and I'll be proud."

Giggs' trademark modesty earns respect among his peers but United team-mate Edwin van der Sar is quick to hail his accomplishments.

"It would be hard to beat that record," said the veteran Dutchman, who has made more than 650 club appearances during his career.

"There are so many changes now with transfers and everything else and Ryan started out early. You will not see anything like that in future.

"And the thing is he is still going strong. It is as though he was only 31.

"It is a joy to see how he trains as well as plays. How he controls the ball, how he sees a pass and the runs he makes.

"He can read a game and adjust the way we play. He shows such dedication every day and sets the example for everyone."



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see also
Ferguson fires warning to Arsenal
29 Apr 09 |  Europe
Man Utd 1-0 Arsenal
29 Apr 09 |  Europe
Giggs earns prestigious PFA award
26 Apr 09 |  Football
Giggs in a class of his own
26 Apr 09 |  Man Utd
Ferguson backs Giggs to win award
24 Apr 09 |  Man Utd
Giggs could become Man Utd coach
22 Feb 08 |  Football
Toshack signs contract extension
06 Feb 09 |  Welsh
Ryan mighty hopes for 21st party
27 Feb 09 |  Man Utd
Alan Hansen's column
16 Feb 09 |  Football
Giggs signs new Man Utd contract
12 Feb 09 |  Man Utd
Charlton hails Giggs achievement
12 May 08 |  Man Utd
Ronaldo named player of the year
27 Apr 08 |  Football


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