Manchester United have confirmed the appointment of Ryan Giggs as player/coach with Phil Neville also returning to the club in a coaching capacity.
The former Wales captain, who is set to receive a UEFA Pro Licence next summer, has been appointed by new Man United manager David Moyes as he continues to shape his backroom staff at Old Trafford. Giggs signed a one-year contract extension in March and will combine his coaching and playing duties next season.
“His career is an example to any aspiring young player”
David Moyes on Ryan Giggs
“It’s a great privilege to be appointed a player/coach,” Giggs told the club’s website. “I hope I will be able to bring my experience to bear, having been both a player and part of the Manchester United family for so long.
“It’s no secret that I have been taking my qualifications and I see this as the first step in my future career. I’m really looking forward to working alongside David and the team.”
Moyes took over from Sir Alex Ferguson at the start of the month and he believes that Giggs, who was named Best Player in the Premier League’s 20 Seasons Awards last year, will be an inspirational member of his coaching staff.
“I’m delighted that Ryan has accepted the chance to become player/coach,” Moyes said. “His success and ability to adapt his game over a number of years gives him an unrivalled perspective on the modern game.
“His career is an example to any aspiring young player and I’m sure that both he and the players will benefit from his new role.”
Giggs is Britain’s most decorated player, having won 13 Barclays Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, two UEFA Champions League trophies, one Super Cup, an Intercontinental Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup during his career at the club.
The 39-year-old has played and scored in every season of the Barclays Premier League and made a total of 620 League appearances for the club, scoring 109 goals.
Neville returns to the club he first joined as a boy and for whom he made 263 Barclays Premier League appearances, winning the Premier League title six times, the FA Cup on three occasions and also lifting the UEFA Champions League and Intercontinental Cups in 1999, before leaving United to join Moyes at Everton.
“I gave my all when I played for Everton but it is no secret that this club is in my heart”
The 36-year-old wore the captain’s armband with distinction at Goodison Park, becoming only the seventh player to make 500 Barclays Premier League appearances on Boxing Day last year before bringing his playing career to a close in June.
“When I retired from football, I knew that I wanted to continue in the game,” Neville told Man Utd’s website. “It’s something that I have been preparing for over the last few years. So when David called to give me this opportunity, I couldn’t resist.
“I gave my all when I played for Everton but it is no secret that this club is in my heart. I’ve really enjoyed working with David and his staff as a player and I think that, together with Ryan, we can make a real contribution to Manchester United.”
Moyes added: “I have known and worked with Philip for eight years and, in that time, I have come to know his dedication, ability to lead and appetite for hard work. In addition, of course, he understands the club very well and I think his addition to the coaching staff will be a valuable one.”
Martinez brings in new staff at Everton
Giggs and Neville will join the backroom staff that Moyes brought with him from Everton: Steve Round as assistant manager, Chris Woods as goalkeeping coach and Jimmy Lumsden as coach. As a result, Moyes’s successor at Goodison Park, Roberto Martinez, has appointed four new members to assist him at Everton.
Graeme Jones becomes assistant manager, Inaki Bergara has joined as goalkeeping coach, Kevin Reeves arrives as chief scout, with Richard Evans the new head of performance. All four men previously worked with Martinez at Wigan Athletic and Swansea City.