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Giggs earns prestigious PFA award


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Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs has won the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award for the first time in his career.

The 35-year-old Welshman beat team-mates Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Cristiano Ronaldo and Edwin van der Sar as well as Liverpool's Steven Gerrard.

Despite winning a host of honours, including 10 Premier League titles, the PFA award had eluded Giggs until now.

Aston Villa forward Ashley Young took the Young Player of the Year award.

He beat his Villa team-mate Gabriel Agbonlahor, Manchester United duo Jonny Evans and Rafael Da Silva, Aaron Lennon of Spurs and Manchester City's Stephen Ireland.

Since making his League debut against Everton at Old Trafford in March 1991 aged 17, Giggs has been a key figure in Sir Alex Ferguson's teams.

As long as I'm getting picked, enjoying it and injury-free, I'll carry on as long as I can

Ryan Giggs

As well as the league crowns, Giggs has also won four FA Cups, three League Cups and two Champions League winner's medals as well as two PFA young player awards.

He has only started 12 league games this season but has been a regular in the squad for all competitions and if he lines up against Arsenal in their Champions League semi-final first-leg on Wednesday, it will be his 800th club appearance.

"It's right up there with personal accolades - it's the best to have as it's voted by your fellow players," said Giggs.

"I've been fortunate to win a lot of trophies, I won the young player award twice, but this is the big one."

"It's an exciting season," he said. "I think it is going to go right to the wire, there's big game after big game now. That is what you want and need at a club like Manchester United."

Giggs paid tribute to his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, and also suggested he may play on beyond his current contract, which expires at the end of next season.

606: DEBATE

Give your reaction to the PFA award for Giggs

"The manager has been massive in my career from when I first met him when I was 13," Giggs said. "That's over 20 years and he knows me better than anyone and our relationship has been brilliant and just gets better.

"I've been so fortunate to have such a great career in so many great teams, it's not even worth thinking about what it would have been like without the manager."

"As long as I'm getting picked, enjoying it and injury-free, I'll carry on as long as I can. At 35 you can't look too far into the distance, you just can't."

Giggs was also one of six United players named in the PFA divisional team of the year but Wayne Rooney missed out.

The team also includes Liverpool duo Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard, Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka, who was in goalscoring form until the votes were cast but has not found the net since February and Portsmouth right-back Glen Johnson.

John McDermott, the former Grimsby player who spent 20 years at the club, was given the Merit award for his services to the game.

"I thought it was one of the lads winding me up, a real shock," he said. "To still be recognised, I was flattered and honoured."

Premier League team of the year: Edwin Van der Sar (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Ryan Giggs (Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

Championship team: Keiren Westwood (Coventry), Kyle Naughton (Sheff Utd), Roger Johnson (Cardiff), Richard Stearman (Wolves), Daniel Fox (Coventry), Michael Kightly (Wolves), Stephen Hunt (Reading), Joe Ledley (Cardiff), Jordi Gomez (Swansea, on loan from RCD Espanyol), Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Wolves), Jason Scotland (Swansea).

League One team: Joe Murphy (Scunthorpe), Neal Eardley (Oldham), Jack Hobbs (Leicester), Sean O'Hanlon, Dean Lewington (both MK Dons), Fabian Delph (Leeds), Matt Oakley (Leicester), Chris Taylor (Oldham), George Boyd (Peterborough), Rickie Lambert (Bristol Rovers), Matt Fryatt (Leicester).

League Two team: Scott Shearer (Wycombe), Neil Austin (Darlington), Simon King (Gillingham), David McCracken (Wycombe), Tom Kennedy (Rochdale), Omar Daley (Bradford), Dany N'Guessan (Lincoln), Ben Davies (Shrewsbury), Tommy Doherty (Wycombe), Andy Bishop (Bury), Grant Holt (Shrewsbury).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/8019726.stm

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Ryan Giggs is a model professional and a legend in the game.

Although he did NOT derserve to win that award - Gerrard, Ferdinand and Vidic are more derserving of the award.

Also Ireland should won PFAYPOTY award.

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Has he even been that good this season ? <cr>

Yes. At times he's been superb.

But better than Vidic and Gerrard this season? Not even close.

I would have put my savings on Vidic winning this one, very surprised by the result.

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This was a sentimental award, nothing more. And can you really deny one of the best 5 Premiership players of all time such an award?

He didn't deserve it based on this year, but he certainly deserved something given he bizarrely hadn't ever won it before.

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This was a sentimental award, nothing more. And can you really deny one of the best 5 Premiership players of all time such an award?

He didn't deserve it based on this year, but he certainly deserved something given he bizarrely hadn't ever won it before.

(tu)

He's deserved it over the course of his career, but isn't that what a lifetime achievement award is for? Or is that equally tainted? :rolleyes:

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