Giggs: Nothing is harder to win

Ryan Giggs is the most decorated footballer in British history. Since turning professional 18 years ago, the Welsh midfielder has won ten Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and two UEFA Champions League trophies - an honours list that puts most English top-flight clubs in the shade, let alone their players.

But out of all of his medals, he counts the 1999 success in the Intercontinental Cup success as being the most difficult to win. Giggs was man of the match and set up Roy Keane for the only goal of the game when Manchester United defeated Palmeiras in Tokyo on 30 November.

With the Red Devils returning to Japan for their debut appearance in the FIFA Club World Cup next week, Giggs hopes that he will be feeling on top of the world once again, but acknowledges that with potentially two continental champions to defeat en route to the trophy, it will be even harder.

"The Intercontinental Cup has been the toughest to win," he told "First of all, we had to qualify for the Champions League, which is tough, then you've got to win it, which is even more difficult - and then beat the champions of South America, who had achieved everything we'd achieved.

"I've got good memories of the game. In parts Palmeiras were the better team, but we managed to get the goal and it was a great feeling, because the club had never won it. Before the game, the manager reminded us of that - and so we were all focused on winning it - just as we are today.

"It's a bigger competition now. In the past it was just Europe against South America, but now every continent is involved. It would be very special to be crowned champions of the world. Obviously, there's two games to play this time, so it's going to be even tougher, but would be great if we did."

I've never been tempted to look elsewhere. As a footballer, you want to win things and you always have a chance of that at Manchester United.
Ryan Giggs explains to why he's a one-club man.

Loyalty and glory
Giggs's successful penalty at the Champions League final against Chelsea turned out to be decisive, rewarding Manchester United not only with the trophy, but a place at the FIFA Club World Cup. "I was a little bit nervous, but not that nervous really," he recalled. "I'd practiced a lot and I was quite confident that I was going to score. The training and the build-up to that game helped because we just practiced and practiced - and it was a good job I did!"

The victory, United's third in Europe after wins in 1968 and 1999, further emphasised their credentials as Britain's biggest club and Giggs, one of the few one-club men at the highest level of in English football is under no illusion that there is something unique about the Red Devils and their manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.

"I think there are a lot of things that make Manchester United a special club. The history - the successes, the Busby Babes, the Munich air disaster, its great players and teams as well as also what the club has achieved under Sir Alex. When all that gets added together, it makes Manchester United a massive club.

"I've never been tempted to look elsewhere. As a footballer, you want to win things and you always have a chance of that at Manchester United. Every season, you want a challenge - and you always have that here.

"It's also great to play under the manager. He's known me since I was 13 and that's over 20 years now, which is frightening for me! He's done a remarkable job and I'm proud to be a part of that."