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Giggs expects Old Trafford classic against Real Madrid

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Giggs appointed player/coach at Manchester United
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Giggs appointed player/coach at Manchester United

Ryan Giggs says Manchester United's game against Real Madrid on Tuesday could be similar to the meeting in 2002-03 that ended 4-3 to the Red Devils.

Brazil striker Ronaldo scored a hat trick that night, while David Beckham came off the bench to score two goals, but United crashed out 6-5 on aggregate after losing 3-1 in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"Every time in Europe you learn different lessons, certainly that night Madrid scoring early made it an uphill task, hopefully that won't happen tomorrow night," Giggs told reporters. "You learn from every experience in Europe. You try to get ahead and score the first goal, we know the crowd will get behind us and the confidence that will give us. But saying that, we know that if we go behind we have the confidence to come from behind like we have done all season.

"When you get that much firepower on the pitch, undoubtedly there's going to be chances and goals."

Giggs, who is due to make his 1000th career appearance on Tuesday, admitted that he is proud to have played so many games.

"I'm obviously proud of playing that many games. If you set out different goals at the beginning of your career; getting in the team, staying in the team, wanting to win things, you never think that you're going to get to 1000 games.

"I've worked hard, I've had a lot of things helping me. The continuity of the manager, playing with good players. As you get older you take things in a lot more. For example the second Champions League that we won, I managed to take that in and enjoy it a lot more than 1999."

Giggs was applauded at the Santiago Bernabeu when he came on as a substitute in the first leg, and he took the opportunity to thank the Madrid fans for that reception.

"It was strange because I was going on to the pitch and concentrating on doing well for the team and making an impact," he said. "I didn't recognize it but it wasn't until after that I really thought about it, but yeah, it was great for me and I thank the Madrid fans for the welcome that they did give me. It was great."

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