Giggs features in Nev match
United stars from past and present pay tribute to full-back
Last Updated: 24/05/11 10:14pm
Giggs: United veteran set up Rooney for opening goal in Neville testimonial
Ryan Giggs was just one of the famous Manchester United players from past and present to pay tribute to Gary Neville by making an appearance in his testimonial against Juventus.
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 UEFA 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 against the Serie A visitors.
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.
Champions League final 2011
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol says he is raring to go ahead of Saturday night's final against Man Utd.
Michael Carrick has urged Man Utd to shelve thoughts of their 2009 disappointment when they face Barcelona.
Pep Guardiola knows Barcelona could be caused problems by Man Utd's rising star Javier Hernandez on Saturday.
- Ferguson predicts a classic
- Rooney backing Hernandez
- Valdes expects improvement
- Guardiola quiet on future
- Fergie - No revenge motive
- Pep keen to put on a show
- Roo backed by Rio to shine
- Vidic - All focus on final
- Fergie - We're more mature
- Xavi hails United class
- Hernandez - Utd world's best
- Nani - I'm ready to start
- Redknapp's Messi fear
- Barcelona v Man Utd preview
- Valencia reveals Fergie backing
- Wilshere - Get in their faces
- Pique wary of Rooney
- Scholes - Best final possible
- Smalling relishing occasion
- Ignore the aura
- Souness favours Fletcher
- Masch happy to be involved
- Hungarian to referee final
- Evra - We were too confident
- Carrick - I am good enough
- Park holds final dream
- Euro boost for Rafael