Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs will take up the role of player-coach next season, the Premier League champion said on its website. Former United player Phil Neville will also join the coaching set-up.
Giggs, 39, signed a one-year contract in March to return for a 23rd season with United and will now be part of new manager David Moyes’s staff.
“His success and ability to adapt his game over a number of years gives him an unrivaled perspective on the modern game,” Moyes, who replaced the retired Alex Ferguson, said. “His career is an example to any aspiring young player and I’m sure that both he and the players will benefit from his new role.”
Giggs has appeared in a United-record 941 games, scoring 168 goals. He’s won a record 13 league titles, along with four F.A. Cups and two Champions League crowns.
The Welshman has recently taken his coaching badges and is due to attain his UEFA Pro License next summer, United said. He called it a “privilege” to assume his new role.
“I hope I will be able to bring my experience to bear, having been both a player and part of the Manchester United family for so long,” Giggs said. “It’s no secret that I have been taking my qualifications and I see this as the first step in my future career.”
Former United defender Neville was hired as an assistant coach.
Neville, 36, retired last month after eight seasons playing for Moyes at Everton. He played for United from 1995 to 2005 and is currently undergoing coaching certification.
“When I retired from football, I knew that I wanted to continue in the game, it’s something that I have been preparing for over the last few years,” Neville said on United’s website. “So when David called to give me this opportunity, I couldn’t resist. I’ve really enjoyed working with David and his staff as a player and I think that, together with Ryan, we can make a real contribution to Manchester United.”
United opens the defense of its Premier League title Aug. 17 at Swansea.
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