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'I Never Wanted To Feel Like This Again' - Ryan Giggs Reveals Lowest Moment Of Career

PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Man Utd went into the 2009 Champions League looking to make history - to become the first club to defend their Champions League title.

Beyond some early chances, the likelihood of victory for Man Utd was minimal. Samuel Eto'o struck an early goal to put Barcelona ahead. It would be an hour before Leo Messi put a second goal on the scoreboard.


In a column for The Telegraph, Ryan Giggs has called that game the lowest point of his career and revealed that post-match he seriously considered retiring from the game.

The first occasion I faced a Pep Guardiola team, I sat alone on the team coach after the match and for the first time in my playing career I thought seriously about retiring from football.

That was the 2009 Champions League final in Rome, forever in my mind the lowest point of my 23 years as a professional footballer.

We had got it wrong that day, Barcelona had got it right, and as I contemplated my life at that moment, my overriding emotion was that I never wanted to feel like this again. If that meant ceasing to play football then - at that moment, at least - so be it.

Giggs would play on for another five years after those emotions diminished.


I felt I needed to have a serious look at myself. All my career, by and large, I had been able to perform in those big decisive games that make history, and then this was one occasion that I had not.

My emotions were quite overwhelming at the time, but over the course of the summer they subsided, and eventually I recognised them for what they were: the extreme reaction to a defeat in the biggest game of all.

Giggs also says that he believes Man Utd's accommodation for that game, a city centre Rome hotel, did not aid their cause. The hotel in which they usually stayed during visits to Rome, one on the outskirts of the city, had been booked by UEFA. This led to the squad feeling 'on edge' in the build-up.



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