Becks can keep on going – Giggs

While the fractured arm Giggs suffered during United’s Premier

League encounter with Aston Villa will prevent him facing his old

friend in the San Siro on Tuesday night when the Red Devils tackle

AC Milan in the Champions League, the pair have already had a chat

about what to expect. It is a bond that began when they were both

schoolboys, emerging together in that famed ‘Class of 92’ that went

on to achieve such glory, both as individuals and as a team. And

Giggs knows enough about Beckham to be certain that at his core,

the former England skipper remains passionate about the game that

has provided his passport to fame and fortune, so focused he

expects him still to be operating at the highest level in another

four years. “We are different in the sense he has been in the

limelight, front page and back, while I prefer to keep myself to

myself,” said Giggs. “But I still speak to him. He has not changed

as a person. “He has always loved football. He has always been

dedicated and that is still the same now. “Like myself, Becks looks

after himself. “He is naturally fit and is a natural athlete, so I

am not surprised he is still going at all. “In fact I reckon he

will keep going for another three or four years.” All those seasons

of sharing a dressing room and celebrating honours together came to

an abrupt end in 2003 when Sir Alex Ferguson let Beckham leave for

Real Madrid, the relationship between the pair fractured as much by

the influence of wife Victoria as anything the 34-year-old did

wrong on the pitch. That rift was only healed 12 months ago when

Beckham shook hands with his old mentor before an encounter with

Inter Milan in the same stadium at exactly the same stage of the

competition. Now they are finally on opposite sides, with Giggs

admitting he is surprised the reunion took so long. “We had a

couple of chances to meet when he was at Real Madrid but it is

great that it will finally happen and great for Becks to come

back,” he said. “It will be fantastic for the fans to see him again

because he was a great player for United and still is a great

player for England and Milan and in America as well.” But Giggs,

like the rest of his team-mates, is acutely aware United cannot get

sucked into the nostalgia. Whilst the former Wales skipper will now

be powerless to prevent Beckham causing United damage, he knows

that is exactly what will happen if the Old Trafford outfit offer

him the chance. “I hope he doesn’t do anything nasty to us,” said

Giggs. “He is a quality player and has always risen to the

occasion. “With the right foot he has he can just ping balls 50

yards or make a five or 10-yard pass. He has amazing accuracy. “And

we must try not to give free-kicks away from 25 or 30 yards out

because he is capable of putting them into the top corner.

“Hopefully he will enjoy it – but not that much.”