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Wales appoint Manchester United legend, Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs has been unveiled as the new Wales boss on a four-year deal that takes in Euro 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Giggs, who earned 64 caps for Wales during his playing career between 1991 and 2007, succeeds Chris Coleman as the Wales manager.

Coleman left the role to take charge of Sunderland following the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

The role is Giggs’s first role in management after three years as assistant manager at Manchester United — including four matches in caretaker charge after David Moyes’s sacking towards the end of the 2014 season.

Craig Bellamy, Osian Roberts and Mark Bowen were also interviewed for the role by the FAW last week, but Giggs was given the job, with the terms of his deal to take over tied up over the weekend.

In a statement, Giggs said: “I am so proud to have been given the honour of managing the national team.

“The challenges that we have ahead of us with the Nations League and qualification for UEFA Euro 2020 excite me a great deal.

“I can’t wait to start working with the players as we prepare for those crucial games later in the year.”

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FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford added: “With his vast amount of experience having played, coached and managed the biggest club in the world, we are confident of a successful future for our national team.”

Giggs’ first match in charge of the national side is against China when Wales take on the hosts of the China Cup in the semifinals of the tournament — with a second game against either Uruguay or Czech Republic four days later.

Despite his service to Wales as a player, Giggs’ commitment to his country was regularly questioned as he did not play an international friendly until 2000.

Asked how he would win the sceptics over, Giggs said at his unveiling: “I’ll do that by winning games. As long as we’re winning games those questions won’t come up.

“But I recognise the question, it’s up to me to give it my all and I will.

“I played 64 times for my country — 65 if you count the game against the Basques, when I scored the winner — and I will be same manager as I was a player.

“I will bring professionalism and organisation and have a bit of fun along the way.

“When I played for my country I give it my all. I loved playing for my country and now it’s probably the proudest moment of my life to lead the Welsh nation into the Euros and the World Cup.

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“We’ve not qualified for a World Cup since 1958, I want to get this group of players there and to be part of it.”

Wales represents Giggs’ first permanent job in management after he missed out on the Swansea post in October 2016.

He has yet to decide on the make-up of his backroom staff, however. But said he will speak to Roberts over whether the FAW’s technical director will be part of his coaching staff.

“I know Osh and the passion he has for Welsh football, we will speak in the near future,” Giggs said.

“I need to think about it [backroom staff] sooner rather than later, but there’s nothing concrete at the moment.

“I’ve got a few ideas, but it’s been a whirlwind 24 hours and it was hard to approach people I’ve got in mind because I didn’t have the job.

“But the management team and the players will make the country proud, just like they were two years ago at the Euros.

“The Euros showed not only the good players we’ve got, but also the team spirit. I want to take that team spirit into the games coming up.”

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Giggs spent almost his entire club career at United playing under Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Scot retired before Giggs’ final season at Old Trafford and the Welshman admits he will tap into Ferguson’s knowledge as he starts out on his first job in football management.

But Giggs — who suggested he could have Welshmen and non-Welshmen on his coaching staff — insists he is very much his own man when it comes to making tough decisions.

“I had a short conversation with Sir Alex and he said the phone he is always there if I need him,” said Giggs, who has worked as a technical advisor for UEFA since leaving his role as United assistant coach in 2016.

“I am fortune to have someone like that to lean on and there are plenty of players who I played with who I can tap into their experience as well.

“But I am my own man and it’s about making individuals better.

“I had a great [coaching] apprenticeship at United, but now I am ready to go on my own with Wales.

“There will be some tough decisions to take, but ultimately it’s about getting Wales to a championship.”

PA Sport contributed to this report

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