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Friday, November 24, 2006

 

International Achievements and Personal Life of Giggs

As of 2006, Giggs has won 56 caps and scored 11 goals for the Welsh national football team. However, his international career has been nothing short of frustrating. As of 2006, he has not played a single match in either a European Championship or a World Cup, because Wales failed to qualify. Giggs has also received criticism for his reluctance to participate in friendly international matches. Since his debut in 1991 against West Germany, Giggs failed to attend a friendly international until some nine years later, missing a massive 18 consecutive friendly games. Officially he was "injured" for these games, though there is no doubt that was just an excuse in most instances. [1]There was much comment during the 1990s in England that Ryan Giggs should have played for England; however, Giggs was born in Wales to Welsh parents and had no eligibility or desire to play for England. He represented England's schoolboy team because he went to school in England.Giggs has never played a World Cup match for his national side, a fate shared with Alfredo Di Stéfano, whose national side was Argentina, and George Best from perennial minnow Northern Ireland.On Tuesday the 5th September 2006, Giggs put in a dazzling perfomance in a friendly against Brazil at White Hart Lane. Such was his display that following the 2-0 win for Brazil, Dunga paid Giggs the ultimate compliment by stating he would not look out of place playing for the five-time world champions alongside stars such as Kaka and Fifa World Player of the Year Ronaldinho. "Any manager in the world would like a player like Giggs in their side, and I am no different," said Dunga. "But frankly I wouldn't know where to play him, we have so many good players. "If he was Brazilian it would give me far too many problems." At last Giggs had shone on the world stage, so often denied him, and had proven his calibre as one of the world's finest footballers.

Personal life

Other than his notorious spate of womanizing as detailed in tabloids such as the Daily Mirror over the years, Giggs has otherwise managed to avoid the limelight of celebrity trappings that tagged his earlier years. In his autobiography, Giggs: The Autobiography, he revealed possible reasons for his aversion to attention, and accounted for his quiet and bashful demeanour.The biography described Giggs' difficult upbringing. He endured racial taunts as a child because he was the product of a mixed marriage. Although he admired his rugby-playing father's sporting gifts (Giggs' attributes his speed and balance to his father's genes), he hated the impact his "bullying aggressive nature" had on his family.In an infamous interview with the Daily Telegraph, Giggs described his father as a "real rogue". He adopted his mother's surname after his parents' separation so that "the world would know I was my mother's son".Giggs is considered by many as a player who, unlike Lee Sharpe and George Best, achieved considerable fame despite a relatively low profile overall as a celebrity. He has done ads for Reebok, Sovil Titus, Citizen Watch Co., Ltd, Givenchy, Fuji, Patek Phillipe and Celcom, and has been used for video-mapping in computer game simulations like EA Sports' FIFA 2003 series for which he also did a commercial.According to an article by BBC Sport: "In the early 1990s, Giggs was David Beckham before Beckham was even holding down a place in the United first team. If you put his face on the cover of a football magazine, it guaranteed you the biggest sales of the year. Why? Men would buy it to read about 'the new Best' and girls bought it because they wanted his face all over their bedroom walls. Giggs had the million-pound boot deal (Reebok), the lucrative sponsorship deals in the Far East (Fuji) and the celebrity girlfriends (Dani Behr, Davinia Taylor) at a time when Becks was being sent on loan to Preston.Giggs is currently living with partner Stacy and their daughter Liberty and newborn son Zach.

Campaigner

In recent years, Giggs has also become a UNICEF representative, launching a campaign to prevent landmines from killing children in 2002.Giggs, who had visited Unicef projects in Thailand, told the BBC: "As a footballer I can't imagine life without the use of one of my legs...Sadly this is exactly what happens to thousands of children every year when they accidentally step on a landmine." Giggs is also an active campaigner in the fight against racism in football. Alongside fellow mixed-raced players like Rio Ferdinand and Thierry Henry, Giggs is adamant about stamping racism out of the game.He told the Football Anti-Racism site 'Stop the BNP' the following in 2004: "A lot of people don't know that my father is black. He was a professional rugby player in the area that I played as a youngster. So a lot of people who I went to school with knew who he was and knew that he was black. So I would get racist taunts in school."He also added in the French L'Equipe Sports Newspaper: "Looking at me from the outside, it is not very obvious, I know but half my family is black and I feel close to their culture and their colour. I am proud of my black roots and of the black blood that runs in my veins. I do not wish to hide my origins, nor do I seek to make it a subject of conversation. I am what I am."Giggs is also a patron of the Manchester-based 'Five Star Scanner Appeal', a charity that aims to raise £1m to fund a new scanner at a new Manchester Childrens Hospital due to be built ready for 2009.

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