Giggs plays in Nev testimonial

Press attention on Giggs, 37, intensified on Monday when he was
named in Parliament as the married footballer involved in a
controversial privacy case. Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used
parliamentary privilege to name him as the Premier League player
who took out an injunction over his alleged relationship with
28-year-old reality TV star Imogen Thomas. A tame question about
the veteran Welshman during a press conference ahead of Saturday’s
Champions League final with Barcelona led to Sir Alex Ferguson
threatening to ban a journalist from future briefings. Now police
are investigating an incident that occurred near Giggs’ home in
north Manchester, in which a number of vehicles belonging to
members of the media were attacked. Amid that maelstrom, Giggs
probably found the football pitch a place of peace. It certainly
appeared so as he drove the low cross into Wayne Rooney’s path that
put United ahead in Neville’s testimonial against Juventus. Rooney
had been a surprise inclusion and the striker lasted half an hour
before he was replaced, along with Giggs and Paul Scholes. The
latter duo are members of the famed ‘Class of 92’, of which Neville
was also an integral part. With Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and David
Beckham also reporting for duty, the sextet boasted an impressive
3,323 United appearances between them. For Beckham in particular,
it was an emotional night as he pulled on the famous red jersey for
the first time since he left for Real Madrid in 2003. The reception
Beckham received was, if anything, more enthusiastic than the one
afforded to Neville. At times, it was like the years being rolled
back as the pair combined down the right flank, as they did so
often for the Red Devils in their prime. Michael Owen, who played
so often alongside Neville and Beckham for England, nodded one of
the full-back’s trademark crosses over. Owen also blazed over from
a Bebe cross not long after Simone Pepe had equalised for Juve.
Anderson and Rafael were introduced after the break, when Beckham
curled a trademark free-kick narrowly over from the edge of the
area. Neville’s night ended after 83 minutes, the former England
full-back leaving the field to a well-deserved standing ovation. By
that time, Manuel Giandonato had curled home a superb winner for
Juventus with an angled free-kick.