At the end of February, the Premier League announced plans to launch the Premier League Hall of Fame, in an effort to recognize and honour outstanding footballers who have played in the competition since its commencement in 1992.
A place in the Premier League Hall of Fame would be the highest individual honour that the league can bestow upon its players and it was also revealed that the first two inductees would be announced on the 19th of March.
The Premier League also mentioned that only retired players will be considered for the honour, but the league has been home to so many world-class talents that picking the greatest among them is no mean feat.
However, there is one retired footballer who shines above the rest of the legends of the league – Manchester United legend and current Wales National Team coach Ryan Giggs.
The Welshman is undoubtedly one of Manchester United’s greatest ever players and is one of the few footballers who spent their entire career at one club.
And today, we present you 3 reasons why he should be the first inductee in the Premier League Hall of Fame.
#3 Most Premier League seasons played in
By the time the old First Division was replaced by the Premier League, Giggs had begun to stake a permanent claim to the left-wing position in Sir Alex Ferguson’s team.
The Welshman had been impressive for the youth team, leading them to an FA Youth Cup triumph in 1992 and was fast becoming one of the hottest properties in European football.
Still only 19 years old, Giggs made 41 appearances in the first season of the Premier League, missing just one game in the entire 1992/93 season.
Since then, the Welshman continued to register more than 20 appearances in the league consistency right until the 2013/14 season, where he appeared just 12 times for the Red Devils, before retiring at the end of the season.
Giggs has appeared in each of the first 22 seasons of the Premier League, an astonishing record that no one comes close to. He has 632 appearances in the Premier League, second only to Gareth Barry in the history of the league.
In the 1993/94 season, the Welshman appeared in all of the 38 games in the Premier League, but that would be the only time he would manage such a feat. Such an omnipresent figure definitely deserves to be the first inductee in the Hall of Fame.
#2 Most Premier League seasons scored in
Ryan Giggs in his prime was one of the best left-wingers the beautiful game has ever seen. His speed, skills, and ability to score important goals made him one of the greatest assets of Sir Alex Ferguson’s team.
The legendary Scot nurtured a young Giggs, protecting him from the perils of stardom, and allowing him to blossom into one of the most feared footballers in the Premier League.
With time, Giggs turned into a potent goalscorer and served up some memorable goals in the Red shirt. Who can ever forget that glorious solo effort against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final replay?
The Welshman scored his first Premier League goal against Nottingham Forest on Matchday 5 of the inaugural 1992/93 season. Giggs ended the season with nine goals from 41 games in the league.
By the 2012/13 season, when Manchester United lifted their 20th Premier League title, Giggs had managed to score in 21 consecutive seasons, the only player to do so in the history of the league. This was despite the fact that he had remodelled his game to suit Manchester United’s requirements in the later stages of the game, playing as a central midfielder.
Even though the Welshman failed to find the back of the net in his final season, Giggs had set the record for the most Premier League seasons scored in – 21 and one can safely assume that it shall not be broken any time soon.
He retired with 109 goals from 632 appearances for the Red Devils. The Welshman also has the record of the most assists in the Premier League; no player has come close to his 162 assists so far.
#1 Most Premier League titles
The list of the top 10 players with the most Premier League winners medals is largely dominated by Manchester United and why not? Since the Premier League was introduced in 1992/93 season, the Red Devils have lifted the coveted trophy a total of 13 times.
Giggs was a part of every Premier League winning Manchester United team and has collected a total of 13 winners medals, the most among all players. His closest competitor is Paul Scholes, another deserving candidate of the Premier League Hall of Fame, who won it 11 times.
Giggs won his first Premier League medal in the inaugural 1992/93 season and his 13th in the 2012/13 season. The Welshman won the league back to back twice in his career and also won it thrice in a row on two occasions. He was also adjudged with the best player in the 20 seasons of the Premier League award.
In the 22 seasons that Giggs competed in the Premier League, he finished outside the top three on just one occasion, his final season.
The man who has the most Premier League titles to his name certainly deserves to be the first inductee in the Premier League Hall of Fame.Published 03 Mar 2020, 22:29 IST