Ryan Giggs awarded ‘one-club man’ prize by Athletic Bilbao
The Welshman was awarded the honour for his loyalty and commitment to United. One of United’s most decorated players, Giggs served the club for 24 years, making 963 appearances. (h/t Independent)
The award was started by Athletic in 2015 to commend those who spent the entirety of their playing careers with one team.
Athletic are famous for their Basque-only policy. The club only signs players who hail from the Basque region and therefore, rely heavily on players developed through their youth system.
The likes of Aymeric Laporte, Fernando Llorente, Javi Martinez and former Red Ander Herrera all came through the famed system.
In a statement made by Athletic’s official site (h/t Independent), Giggs has been described as a player par excellence.
“Few legends of the game have demonstrated better respect for the values of football than Manchester United’s one-club man.”
Recipients of the prestigious award are commended for five key values. This includes loyalty, commitment, responsibility, sportsmanship and respect. The Spaniards consider these traits attached to their identity.
Giggs is expected to travel to Bilbao and accept the award at the San Mames when possible. The award is traditionally presented by Jose Angel Iribar, the club’s longest-serving player, and the youngest player in Athletic’s famed Lezama academy.
Now in charge of the Wales national team, Giggs is a generational player. Few have caught the imagination of United fans as the flying winger. It is difficult to name another player as richly deserving of this honour as him.
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Other players who have won the award include Southampton’s Matt Le Tissier, Milan’s Paolo Maldini, Bayern Munich’s Sepp Maier, Barcelona’s Carles Puyol, Umea’s Malin Mostrom and Celtic’s Billy McNeill. (h/t Independent)