Giggs reveals secrets to fitness success
David Beckham won’t be on the pitch for an emotional reunion with United on Sunday – but former team-mate Ryan Giggs believes his return to the Premier League will makeTottenham genuine title challengers.
The former England captain is still to seal a loan move from LA Galaxy, but Harry Redknapp is doing everything in his power to add Beckham to Spurs’ title and Champions League bids.
Giggs, who won six league championships with Beckham at United and the unforgettable treble in 1999, reckons the midfielder’s winning know-how will be priceless at White Hart Lane – even if he admits he never thought he’d see him back in English football.
Giggs said: “When he signed for four or five years in America you thought that was it. It’s not only the football, but the lifestyle as well.
“He enjoys living out there so you probably thought that you would never see him again.
“But he will have an impact on the young players there. He has always been professional. He’s been a credit in the way he’s prepared himself for games, he’s got quality as well. He’s got unbelievable quality even now.
“To have that day in, day out will be great for the players at Tottenham – especially the young ones.”
United can stretch their lead over Tottenham to 11 points with victory on Sunday, still with a game in hand. Giggs, however, refuses to rule the North London club out of the title race.
“I do see them as realistic challengers,” he said. “It is tough for a team in their first year in the Champions League. It will be a tricky time then because we know from experience that trying to get that balance right of a Champions League game and a game on Saturday is tough.
“You’ve got to come to terms with that but, to be fair, Tottenham have got the squad to handle that. With the players they’ve got you’ve got to count them as serious challengers.”
Like Beckham, Giggs has defied his years by continuing to play at the highest level well into his late 30s.
Now 37, the Welshman is set to open talks on another 12 month extension on his United contract and is on course to win an incredible 12th Premier League crown.
Speaking at the launch of his new DVD: Giggs Fitness, he revealed yoga is the secret behind his powers of longevity.
Having struggled throughout his early career with hamstring problems, he says that stretching exercises have enabled him to become United’s all-time record appearance maker and the most decorated footballer in English history.
“It’s been a massive reason behind me playing on as long as I have,” he said. “I did change a lot when I was 29-30. I started drinking less alcohol, eating the right things and resting a lot more. But yoga was probably the biggest part.
“You can feel it working and you can feel the benefits straight away.
“My body feels so much better having done the yoga. I still get the odd hamstring strain, which you are going to get playing football, but it wasn’t about curing the problem, but making it less frequent.
“I wish I had done it from the start of my career.
“But I’ve been lucky. I’ve played 800-odd games for United.
“I used to get my hamstring injuries when I was flying and I was confident. You get it when you are flying.
“It was always in the back of my mind that my hamstrings may go. You were always conscious about that, where as now you just go out and play.”
And Giggs is feeling so good, even in the twilight of his career, that he has opened the door to a possible international return with Wales.
He retired from playing for his country in 2007, but has hinted that he would be willing to help new Wales manager, Gary Speed, if called upon.
“At the moment I am just concentrating on playing for United,” he said. “But I played with Gary – he was a great player and I am sure he will do a great job for Wales.
“In the future if he ever needed any help or ever needed anything from me, that would be no problem. But at the moment I just wish him all the best and I just hope he can get Wales winning.”
Meanwhile, Beckham is set to face Wayne Rooney’s brother on the pitch when he returns to America after 20-year-old former Macclesfield striker John was signed by New York Red Bulls in yesterday’s MLS super draft. He will join a squad which includes former World Cup winner Thierry Henry.
:: Reebok ambassador Ryan Giggs was speaking at the launch of Giggs Fitness, a new strength and conditioning DVD which is inspired by yoga and offers expert advise. For more information or to purchase Giggs Fitness, visit www.amazon.co.uk or www.giggsfitness.com.