Giggs expects Old Trafford classic against Real Madrid

The Welsh veteran believes the quality both sides possess makes action inevitable, but is confident Sir Alex Ferguson’s men will emerge victorious in front of their home fans

Ryan Giggs says Manchester United’s game against Real Madrid on Tuesday could be similar to the meeting in 2002-03 that ended 4-3 to the Red Devils.

Brazil striker Ronaldo scored a hat-trick that night, while David Beckham came off the bench to score two goals, but United crashed out 6-5 on aggregate after losing 3-1 in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“Every time in Europe you learn different lessons, certainly that night Madrid scoring early made it an uphill task, hopefully that won’t happen tomorrow night,” Giggs told reporters.

“You learn from every experience in Europe. You try to get ahead and score the first goal, we know the crowd will get behind us and the confidence that will give us. But saying that, we know that if we go behind we have the confidence to come from behind like we have done all season.

“When you get that much firepower on the pitch, undoubtedly there’s going to be chances and goals.”

Giggs, who is due to make his 1000th career appearance on Tuesday, admitted that he is proud to have played so many games.

“I’m obviously proud of playing that many games. If you set out different goals at the beginning of your career; getting in the team, staying in the team, wanting to win things, you never think that you’re going to get to 1000 games.

“I’ve worked hard, I’ve had a lot of things helping me. The continuity of the manager, playing with good players. As you get older you take things in a lot more. For example the second Champions League that we won, I managed to take that in and enjoy it a lot more than 1999. As you get older you enjoy things a little bit more and enjoy them a little bit more.”

Giggs was applauded at the Santiago Bernabeu when he came on as a substitute in the first leg, and he took the opportunity to thank the Madrid fans for that reception.

“It was strange because I was going on to the picth and concentrating on doing well for the team and making an impact. I didn recognise it but it wasn’t until after that I really thought about it, but yeah, it was great for me and I thank the Madrid fans for the welcome that they did give me.

“It was great.”

Sir Alex Ferguson also confirmed that Giggs will play some part against the Spanish giants.

“Well he played against QPR and we always like to keep him fresh,” the Scot told reporters.

“Tomorrow he will be involved at some point, whether starting or on the bench, I haven’t made my mind up. His experience of these occasions will be vital to us.”

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