Ferguson salutes Giggs as star eyes 900 games

Sir Alex Ferguson has paid a fresh tribute to Ryan Giggs as the Manchester United veteran edges towards yet another impressive landmark.

Giggs, 38, is in line to make his 900th appearance for United in their Europa League match against Ajax at Old Trafford on Thursday, although he could be rested as his team holds a 2-0 lead from the first leg in Amsterdam.

That would leave Giggs to notch up that mark in Premier League champions United's next league game at Norwich on Sunday, and Ferguson believes that English football will never see his like again.

"My personal view, and I don't think everyone will agree with me, is that being in the Premier League as long as he has and having achieved what he has, I don't think any other player will do that," the United manager said Wednesday.

"It's amazing. When you look back to (the 2008 Champions League Final in) Moscow when he beat Bobby Charlton's (United appearance) record that night, you are talking about almost 100 games since then. It's phenomenal," Ferguson added.

"He keeps defying his age and this season he has just been the same as he was back in Moscow. His performance level, then to today, nothing has changed. He's just amazing."

Ferguson believes being versatile has been key to Giggs' longevity.

"There is a maturity in respect of Ryan and changing his position a few times, to play more central. He's given different aspects to his game," added the Scot.

"You always remember what Ryan was famous for -- up and down that touchline running at full-backs with great balance and speed.

"It's a different Ryan Giggs today.

"He's still got a change of pace and wonderful balance but he's not as quick as he was 10 years ago and he probably looks at the game in a different way."

Giggs has just signed a one-year extension, keeping him at Old Trafford until the summer of 2013 and, with 64 Wales caps and two Under-21 appearances to his name, it is plausible he will notch up 1,000 games of senior football before retiring.

"What age would he be?," smiled Ferguson, when asked if he thought that was possible.

"Stanley Matthews played at 50, didn't he? We will have to wait and see."

Giggs' teammate Tom Cleverley, 22, is at the other end of the experience scale and is continuing his comeback from an ankle injury which has hampered his development this season.

But he returned in the first leg against Ajax and is expected to make a strong bid for a place in England's European Championship squad later this year.

"Hopefully, if I can get into good form between now and the end of the season, I would be more than happy to be involved in the Euros," said Cleverley.

Having made 16 appearances at Under-21 level, Ferguson believes the midfielder is well positioned for an England career.

"He, along with (Chris) Smalling, (Phil) Jones, (Danny) Welbeck, have all been involved in the England squad, so the indications are there that he would be in the frame anyway," said Ferguson.

Meanwhile, Ferguson praised Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini for his handling of the Carlos Tevez affair.

Former United striker Tevez has finally apologised for his self-imposed exile from City and Ferguson said: "It's been a long saga really.

"Obviously everyone expected him to apologise. There was no way they were going to put him in the 25-man (Premier League) squad if he wasn't going to apologise. I think Roberto Mancini has handled it very well."

  • 2015 Nissan Murano aims for the style-forward crowd 12 hours ago
    2015 Nissan Murano aims for the style-forward crowd

    Nissan says its 2015 Murano crossover, only the second major revamp of the car since it debuted in 2003, draws its design cues from the “age of future space flight.” That’s probably taking it a little far, but the new Murano, based off the 2013 Resonance concept vehicle, is an exceptionally lovely machine, all fluid, curved metal on the outside, and flowing, soft-touch materials on the inside. Certain kinds of comfort and charms that were unheard-of outside of premium vehicles five years ago have definitely trickled down, and reached a kind of design apotheosis with this car.

  • Volkswagen brings new (ish) Jetta to New York along with Golf Sportwagen 15 hours ago
    Volkswagen brings new (ish) Jetta to New York along with Golf Sportwagen

    With its new President and CEO of America, Michael Horn, on stage in New York after just 100 days on the job, Volkswagen debuted its 2015 Jetta. You'd be forgiven for noticing little differences compared to the outgoing model, and in the words of Horn himself, the changes are indeed subtle. The most notable of those subtleties is the all-new 2.0 liter turbo diesel motor, offering 45 mpg highway and a modest increase of 10 hp. For VW, diesel is where it's at.

  • With Vantage GT, Aston Martin races below $100,000 15 hours ago
    With Vantage GT, Aston Martin races below $100,000

    Aston Martin is going downmarket, sort of. The 2015 Vantage GT, a sport-styled variant of Aston’s legendary flagship car, draws style and performance tips from their GT4 race cars, which will be running in North America this year. It’s also priced at $99,900, which shows that the market for these kinds of consumer sports cars has boomed in recent years.

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge...

  • StarHub 4G users to be charged from June as promo ends
    StarHub 4G users to be charged from June as promo ends

    Are you on the 4G or LTE mobile data network under StarHub? If so, you’ll have to start paying for the service.

  • Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes
    Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

    By Narae Kim JINDO South Korea (Reuters) - More than 280 people, many of them students from the same high school, were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea on Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years. It was not immediately clear why the Sewol ferry listed heavily on to its side and capsized in apparently calm conditions off South Korea's southwest coast, but some survivors spoke of a loud noise prior to the disaster.