‘Money could motivate footballers to play past 40’

LONDON – Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs believes it could become common to see players still active in their late 30s thanks to lucrative contracts and technological advancements.
Ryan Giggs, will be 40 this year but is still active, making his 1000th career appearance this season. Net photo.
Ryan Giggs, will be 40 this year but is still active, making his 1000th career appearance this season. Net photo.

LONDON – Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs believes it could become common to see players still active in their late 30s thanks to lucrative contracts and technological advancements.

Giggs made his league debut for the Red Devils in March 1991 at the age of 17, and 22 years later he is still active, making his 1000th career appearance this season.

The former Wales international signed a new one-year contract on March 1 meaning he will become only the third outfield player to play top-flight soccer past the age of 40, and he feels such long careers could become more common.

“There are two ways of looking at it,” Giggs told reporters. “Players are getting a lot of money now. Do they want to play on to their late 30s?

“But there is the other side. With the involvement of sports science, players looking after themselves more — and the facilities are so much better.

“So if they want to, and if they have the desire, players can go on a lot longer than they used to. As you enter your 30s, you are just trying to play for as long as you can and get as much out of the game as you can. Luckily, I have managed to stay injury free and also had the continuity of the manager.

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