Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs confirmed as new Wales football manager

Ryan Giggs played 64-times for Wales between 1991 and 2007.
Ryan Giggs played 64-times for Wales between 1991 and 2007. Photo credit: Getty

Former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs has vowed to win over doubting fans with success on the pitch after being appointed manager of Wales on a four-year contract.

The 44-year-old takes over from Chris Coleman, who led Wales to the Euro 2016 semi-finals but quit the job in November to take charge of English Championship side Sunderland.

It will be the first major managerial role for a player who won 64 caps for Wales between 1991 and 2007 but was unpopular with some supporters for missing many internationals, especially friendlies.

"I know that the criticism is going to come and the way to combat that is to win games and give it my all, which I'll do," he told a news conference.

Giggs ended his playing career in 2014 and was Louis van Gaal's assistant at Old Trafford for the following two seasons, before leaving United in 2016 after Jose Mourinho was appointed as manager.

He also had a brief role as interim manager at United after David Moyes was sacked in 2014.

Giggs said the opportunity to manage Wales was one he could not turn down, and was 'tremendously proud and excited' about working with the players.

"I'm just itching to get back into football, because that's where I feel comfortable, that's where I belong," he said.

Giggs's immediate challenge will be to take Wales to the 2020 European Championship after the side failed to qualify for this year's World Cup finals in Russia.

His first game in charge will be in the China Cup tournament against the hosts in Nanning on March 22.

Giggs said he had spoken to his retired Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson over the weekend, and would have been stupid not to ask the greatest of managers for advice.

But he was also determined to be his own man and apply the knowledge gleaned from the managers he had worked with at club and international level.

"So many times it's been said that a good career as a player doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be a good manager," he added. "But I think that's down to the individual.

"I'll do exactly what I did when I was a player - be professional, give it my all and enjoy it."

Reuters