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Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

Ryan Giggs plays down talk of a Wales return

Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs scored 12 goals in 64 caps for Wales between 1991 and 2007

Ex-captain Ryan Giggs says he will only return for Wales in an emergency.

A newspaper interview suggested that the Manchester United midfielder, 36, would make a comeback if called upon by Wales manager John Toshack.

But Giggs told BBC Radio Manchester: "I've got no immediate plans on coming back and playing regularly.

"I just said I wouldn't rule it out. If there was ever an emergency or a game that they needed me I would obviously think about it."

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson acted with incredulity when faced with the story of a Giggs comeback, initially reported in the Western Mail newspaper.

"Ryan? You must be joking," said Ferguson. "I can't see it, it must have been a weak moment for Ryan. I can't see that happening."

Wales open their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign in Montenegro on 3 September.

In October they host Bulgaria and travel to Switzerland, before welcoming England on 26 March next year.

The injury to Wales' Aaron Ramsey - the Arsenal teenage star Giggs has described as a "future Wales captain" - was cited by the Western Mail as a reason for the rethink.

The horrific injury suffered by the 19-year-old against Stoke - fractures to his tibia and fibula in his right leg which required surgery - means Ramsey could be out until the new year, missing Wales' first three Euro 2012 qualifiers where Giggs could fill the creative gap.

The Manchester United star quit Wales in 2007 after winning 64 caps - scoring 12 times - in a 16-year Wales career.

Giggs return 'would boost' young Wales

He retired to extend his club career and the Welsh footballing great is now Manchester United's all-time appearance record holder with 829 games for the Old Trafford club.

He is the current PFA Footballer of the Year and BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Giggs is one of a host of experienced players to have retired since Toshack replaced Mark Hughes as Wales manager in 2004.


Swansea defender Ashley Williams, who is one of 11 players to captain Wales in Toshack's reign, welcomed talk of a potential Giggs return.

"It is maybe what the squad needs," Williams told BBC Sport.

"Everyone knows Ryan Giggs is an absolute legend for Wales and Manchester United.

"He is still an amazing player and one of the best of the Premier League so if he was to return, he would give the boys a massive boost.

"And it would obviously help if he comes back to play for us."

Giggs has won a record 11 Premier League crowns, two Champions League trophies, four FA and League Cups in a distinguished career for one of the most successful club teams of the last generation.

The one-club man - hailed as a 'United God' by Ferguson - would certainly add experience to a young Wales midfield that includes many players in their early 20s like Jack Collison, Dave Edwards and Joe Ledley.

"Let's just hope that [Toshack] accepts Giggs' potential offer of a return and there is no big hoo-ha over it," said former Wales striker Walsh when the original story broke.

"If Ryan is there to give us a helping hand it would be fantastic and the fact that we've got England in our group as well... we know the games we've got this year and if he is available to face Montenegro, Bulgaria and Switzerland it would really enhance our chances."

Giggs said in his Western Mail interview: "Starting off well in a fresh campaign is vital.

"Those first two or three games are so important to get the whole country fully behind the team."

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see also
Odds of a Giggs Wales return?
26 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Welsh Euro 2012 schedule revealed
25 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Ramsey has surgery on broken leg
28 Feb 10 |  Arsenal
Giggs signs new deal at Man Utd
18 Dec 09 |  Man Utd
Giggs ends international career
30 May 07 |  Internationals
Welsh football history
25 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Welsh
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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