Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has replaced Chris Coleman as the manager of the Welsh national football team, the Football Association of Wales announced on Monday.
“The Football Association of Wales (FAW) are delighted to announce the appointment of Ryan Giggs as the Wales National Team Manager on a 4-year contract,” a statement on the association’s official website read.
Giggs, who hung up his boots in 2014 after becoming the most decorated British player of all time, was the heavy favourite to clinch the job.
This is his first time he will be managing a side on his own, with the 44-year-old having been Louis van Gaal’s assistant for two seasons at Manchester United. He was briefly the interim manager of the Red Devils at the end of the 2014-15 season and was in charge of the last four games.
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“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,” Giggs gushed at his appointment as he added, “I can’t wait to start working with the players as we prepare for those crucial games later in the year”.
The former winger has a tall order to replace Chris Coleman, who was responsible in making the Welsh Dragons qualify for the European Championships in 2016, where they had a stellar run and reached the last-four. They lost to eventual champions Portugal in a hard-fought semi-final and while they failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia, hopes are high that Giggs will make them European powerhouses in the coming years.