Giggs reveals Ferguson told him he wouldn't play before facing Ballack

Ryan Giggs reveals Sir Alex Ferguson once told him he wouldn’t play in FIVE matches just so he could be ready to take on Chelsea’s Michael Ballack because the German hated ‘players running at him’

  • Alex Ferguson told Ryan Giggs to give Chelsea’s Michael Ballack nightmares
  • The Man United boss didn’t play the winger for five games so he could be ready 
  • Ferguson believes Giggs could cause the midfielder problems by running at him 

Sir Alex Ferguson once told Ryan Giggs he wouldn’t play for five matches just so he could be ready to give Chelsea’s Michael Ballack ‘nightmares’.

The Manchester United boss told his winger to ‘forget’ about the matches in between and to prepare himself to face the German midfielder in three weeks time.

Ferguson wanted Giggs to play in the centre of midfield because he believed he could cause Ballack problems with his speed.

Sir Alex Ferguson believed Ryan Giggs could cause Michael Ballack ‘nightmares’ in midfield

The Manchester United manager told Giggs he wouldn’t play in the five games before Chelsea

The Welshman said he had been in and out of the team prior to the game but that Ferguson often called upon players he trusted to perform certain roles in big games. 

‘The majority of the time he could trust us to play a role, I played midfield at Old Trafford against Chelsea.’ Giggs told The Greatest Game podcast with Jamie Carragher.   

He pulled me like three weeks before the game. He said, “We’re playing Chelsea, I want you to play in midfield against Michael Ballack. He doesn’t like players running at him, you’ll give him nightmares.”

The Welshman said Ferguson would trust players to do a job even if they hadn’t been playing

‘Three weeks away, there’s like five games in between. I said, “What about the other games in between?” 

He says: “Forget about them. Just get yourself ready for Chelsea”. ‘It was that sort of thing. Okay, you’d be subbed, be in and out of the team but get yourself right for that.’ 

Giggs faced Ballack several times during the midfielder’s spell at Chelsea between 2006 and 2010.

They were both involved in the 2009 Champions League final which United won on penalties, with each of them scoring in the shoot-out. 

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