Medal-laden Giggs still motivated
Updated: Sunday, 14 Jul 2013 11:11
Manchester United's Ryan Giggs admits it is "crazy" how he still manages to maintain his motivation.
Giggs, about to start his 23rd season as a United player, is the proud owner of a record 13 Premier League titles.
The fact he can still turn in the type of top-class performances that persuaded Alex Ferguson to hand him another contract is testament to the 39-year-old's phenomenal mental strength.
Giggs admits he cannot really explain it himself.
However, speaking on his arrival in Sydney, after United's 1-0 loss to Singha All Stars in Thailand, for the second leg of their pre-season tour, it is clear he loves the game as much as he ever did.
"Crazy, aren't I?" he said.
"I'm enjoying it just as much as I did 20 years ago. It's as simple as that. Every year is a bonus to me. Take last year: winning the league, that feeling you have after the hard work you put in. Winning that trophy makes it all worthwhile.
"The thing about Manchester United is you have to do it all over again."
"This is the start of the journey this season and I hope to be lifting a trophy again at the end of it"
And that philosophy will remain the same even though there is now a new man at the helm.
"This is the start of the journey this season and I hope to be lifting a trophy again at the end of it," he said.
"We have to put the hard work in now in order to achieve that."
It is United's first visit to Australia since 1999 and this time round Giggs will have the chance to see one of sport's fiercest rivalries.
Cardiff-born Giggs only ended up in Manchester in the first place because his dad moved north to play professional rugby league for Swinton.
Giggs played the sport as a youngster and has retained a healthy interest even though he has gone on to achieve so much success in a different footballing sphere.
So Wednesday's State of Origin decider between Queensland and New South Wales - in the same ANZ Stadium United's sell-out tour match against the A-League All Stars will take place on Saturday evening - is going to be an occasion for Giggs to relish.
"I'm a big rugby league fan," he said.
"I had the great pleasure of spending some time with Melbourne Storm when they were playing in Leeds in the World Cup Challenge.
"I spent some time with Billy Slater and Cameron Smith, who are Queenslanders. I've also had a text off Andrew Johns telling me in no uncertain terms who I need to support on Wednesday.
"I'm in Sydney so I'll be supporting New South Wales."