And here’s how popular he has made himself over the decades of service on the
surface. When the name of every other member of the GB team was announced to
the crowd, their club affiliation seasoned how they were greeted.
Craig Bellamy, Micah Richards, Daniel Sturridge, coach Stuart Pearce all had
their welcomes peppered with catcalls generated by their Manchester City
pasts. Even Tom Cleverley, who plies his trade on this pitch, had a few of
blue persuasion booing.
And we thought that the tribal difficulties inherent in Team GB concerned
Scottish and Welsh grumblings.
Giggs’s name, however, drew universal admiration.
The crowd, which had spent most of the previous match in this double header
booing Luis Suárez, cheered at the very thought of his presence.
As far as the thousands here were concerned this was a man who can do no
wrong, even if, like all the Welshmen on duty, he did opt out of singing the
Mind, 21 years between debuts has had its effect: how time has changed the
player. When he first started he was all gallop and shimmy, a youngster who
could give most of the athletes lining up in the Olympic 100 metres a hurry
Here he was positioned so deep even Tom Daley would be pushed to reach him.
Playing alongside fellow Welshman Joe Allen, his role was to lurk around the
centre circle, controlling the tempo of the side, conducting the orchestra,
not veering off on solos.
He did it very well too: one back heel to Danny Rose midway through the second
half brought a buzz of appreciation from a crowd who, for much of the game,
seemed more distracted by attempting to start Mexican waves than anything
happening out on the pitch.
Defence as much a part of his realm these days as attack, he was even once or
twice obliged to put in a clearing tackle. Senegal’s Idrissa Gueye took the
full force of one of his steaming interventions and limped off soon
Not that he has lost the route to goal. It was his free-kick which provided
the singular moment of footballing uplift for the gathered throng. Spinning
the ball viciously into the Senegal area, his assist fell for Bellamy who
fired it home.
Giggs might have thought it would be enough to allow him to finish this game
as so many have here for him: with all the points banked. But a late Senegal
equaliser spoiled the night he had been anticipating for so long.
Article source: http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/568303/s/21c0704d/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Csport0Colympics0Cfootball0C9430A9220CLondon0E20A120EOlympics0ERyan0EGiggs0Eturns0Eback0Ethe0EOld0ETrafford0Eclock0Ebut0Enight0Eis0Eruined0Eby0ESenegal0Bhtml/story01.htm