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Page last updated at 22:31 GMT, Sunday, 26 April 2009 23:31 UK

Giggs earns prestigious PFA award

Ryan Giggs
Giggs was presented with the award at a ceremony in London

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 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."

United have already won two trophies this season and are still in the running for the Premier League and the Champions League.

"It's an exciting season," said Giggs. "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.


"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 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).

see also
Giggs in a class of his own
26 Apr 09 |  Man Utd
Villa manager delighted for Young
27 Apr 09 |  Aston Villa
Ferguson backs Giggs to win award
24 Apr 09 |  Man Utd
Lampard award snub shocks Ballack
23 Apr 09 |  Chelsea
Ferdinand backs Vidic for award
25 Mar 09 |  Man Utd
Giggs ready for quintuple quest
01 Mar 09 |  League Cup
Ryan mighty hopes for 21st party
27 Feb 09 |  Man Utd
Alan Hansen's column
16 Feb 09 |  Football
Giggs signs new Man Utd contract
12 Feb 09 |  Man Utd
Charlton hails Giggs achievement
12 May 08 |  Man Utd
Ronaldo named player of the year
27 Apr 08 |  Football

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