Charlton hails Giggs as games record looms

May 12, 2008

Sir Bobby Charlton has given Ryan Giggs' record-breaking achievements his Manchester United seal of approval.

Giggs equalled Charlton's club-best 758 appearances yesterday, scoring the Premier League title-sealing second in United's 2-0 win at Wigan.

It completed the Welshman's 10th championship triumph and if the Red Devils are successful when they tackle Chelsea in the Champions League final on May 21, Giggs will also have two medals from Europe's most prestigious club competition, one more than Charlton managed.

In addition, the 34-year-old will also take sole ownership of United's appearance record, with the prospect of more to come next season.

But Charlton does not care about the lost crown. He believes there is no more deserving recipient than the man he first saw as a callow teenager on United's old training ground at The Cliff.

'I don't mind Ryan taking the record,' said the legendary England star. 'If I could choose someone for it to go to, it would be Ryan.

'The day he came to Manchester United, I knew he was special. He is a great athlete, a great person and a great footballer. Nobody deserves to break records like he does.

'You need to be here for a length of time to understand this club and the strength of feeling that underpins it.

'His record with Manchester United is unbelievable and I'm really proud of him. I have forgotten about my record already.'

Charlton has previously claimed he gets more of a thrill from United's current achievements than the ones from his own playing days.

And the 70-year-old was on his feet at the JJB Stadium yesterday as Sir Alex Ferguson's side recorded their latest triumph.

'Sir Alex is just phenomenal,' said Charlton of a man who has long since justified his own pleas for the United board to keep faith with the Scot during those difficult early years.

Now United look towards the meeting with Chelsea at the Luzhniki Stadium, with many convinced Ferguson's present side are about to carve their name in the pantheon of Old Trafford legends.

'It would be fantastic to win the Champions League as well,' said Charlton. 'It will be hard but we will give it our best shot. We will be ready that's for sure.'