Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA
All free when you join eir Broadband
Manchester United have confirmed the departure of assistant manager Ryan Giggs, bringing to an end a 29-year association with the club.
The Welshman, who rejected the offer of a reduced coaching role under new manager Jose Mourinho, brings the curtain down on a 29-year career at Old Trafford after agreeing a settlement for the final year of his contract.
"After 29 seasons at Manchester United as a player and assistant manager, I know winning is in the DNA of this club - giving youth a chance, and playing attacking and exciting football. It's healthy to have high expectations, it's right to expect to win. Manchester United expects, deserves, nothing less," Giggs told United's official website.
"This is why it is a huge decision for me to step away from the club that has been my life since the age of 14. It has not been a decision that I have made lightly. I'll take away so many special memories as well as a lifetime of experiences that will, I hope, serve me well in the future."
Giggs made a club-record 963 appearances for United, winning two Champions Leagues, 13 Premier League titles and the FA Cup four times.
Giggs, who was appointed as David Moyes' assistant manager in May 2013 and continued the role under Moyes' successor Louis van Gaal, was offered a bridging coaching role between the senior squad and academy following talks with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
And, after mulling over the offer while on holiday in Dubai, Giggs opted to leave the club he first joined as a 14-year-old in 1987.
Giggs also confirmed that he hopes to become a manager in the future, after paying tribute to "great managerial mentors" Sir Alex Ferguson and van Gaal.
"The time feels right and, although I have no immediate plans to step into management, it is where I want to be," he said.
"It’s time for a new chapter and a new challenge. I’m excited about the future - I’ve had the best apprenticeship into management anyone could ever ask for."