Ryan Giggs lands 1st coaching job with Wales national team
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Ryan Giggs was hired as coach of Wales’ national soccer team on Monday, his first full-time coaching job since ending an illustrious playing career with Manchester United.
Giggs’ only previous experience as a manager was in 2014, when he took temporary charge of United for the final four games of the Premier League season following the firing of David Moyes.
He was assistant to Louis van Gaal at United for the following two seasons but left Old Trafford when Jose Mourinho took charge ahead of the 2016-17 season. Giggs has since worked as a TV analyst.
The 44-year-old Giggs played 64 times for Wales, but never made it to a major tournament.
“I’d like to think I’ll be the same kind of manager as I was a player,” Giggs said, “with professionalism but also a little bit of fun along the way.”
Giggs replaced Chris Coleman, who left last year to manage Sunderland after Wales failed to qualify for the World Cup. Coleman led Wales to the semifinals at the 2016 European Championship.
Giggs was a rarity in soccer by spending his entire playing career at one club. Giggs played a record 963 times for Manchester United and became British soccer’s most decorated player but has struggled to forge a coaching career, most notably being overlooked for the role as Swansea manager in late 2016.
“It opens doors,” he said of his success as a player, “but so many times, it’s been said having a good career as a player doesn’t make you a good manager.
“I’ve got a great group of players to work with, who have been so successful over the last four or five years. Who can forget watching us at the Euros? I want to get us back there.”