Saturday,23 June, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1340, (13 - 19 April 2017)
Saturday,23 June, 2018
Issue 1340, (13 - 19 April 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Giggs on the Nile

While in Egypt with the Champions League trophy to promote tourism, former superstar Ryan Giggs spoke to Mohamed Abdel-Razek about his hot and cold club Manchester United

Giggs at the Egyptian Museum

One of six countries chosen for the 2017 UEFA Champions League trophy tour which began last week, Egypt had the chance to show the world of football how much the country adores the game. The tour, which passed by in 2016 with one of the all-time legends of the Champions League, Carles Puyol, comes again this year with another legend, Ryan Giggs.

The former captain of Manchester United won the trophy two times as a player, in 1999 and 2008, making him the right guy to speak to the world about the iconic trophy. “I was amazed by the amount of Egyptian fans closely following the UEFA Champions League and their knowledge of the teams and the players,” Giggs told Al-Ahram Weekly.

The Welsh legend was asked about Manchester United, the club that he won 34 trophies and appeared 672 times for. Concerning the dramatic deterioration in the team’s performance since the retirement of the iconic manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, Giggs said that Ferguson had a chance that won’t be given to anybody else today: 27 years managing the club. He added that he now believes the team is improving. “They won two trophies this season and they are likely to win the Europa League.”


Giggs, 43, added that Ferguson’s time was much different compared to today. “Now lots of teams are strong: Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool and other clubs. They are all strong, with strong managers like Pochettino, Klopp, and Guardiola.

“I believe we have good players in Manchester United, but the fans should be aware that the improvement will take time and they have to be patient,” Giggs said.

Giggs described one question as tricky: “Did you refuse to work with Jose Mourinho after the time you spent with Louis Van Gaal?” Giggs had to take a sip of water before answering. “No, I didn’t. Jose is a good manager and he had his team ready, so it was time for me to leave.”

The former left winger said that the current performance of the Red Devils is a “disaster” compared to Manchester United standards, and that hopefully the team can improve as quickly as possible.

The visit was short, only two days, however, the UEFA Champions League sponsors, managed to entertain Giggs, showing him some of the most famous Egyptian sites, including the Egyptian Museum, took him for a relaxing cruise along the Nile, then dinner with a view of the magical Giza Pyramids.

“I will definitely come back with my family for a longer visit. I would love to educate my children with the Egyptian civilization. It was my first visit but won’t be the last for sure,” Giggs said.   

Egypt is one of six countries included in the 2017 tour to host the UEFA Champions League trophy which will also be visiting Panama, Jamaica, Colombia, India and Vietnam. The trophy will visit Cardiff, Giggs’ home city, at the end of the tour.

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