Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has opened up about his ‘intense dislike,’ for Arsenal at the time of the two clubs bitter rivalry during the late nineties and early noughties.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United and Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal were by far and away the best teams in England at the time, and Giggs has admitted that the rivalry was so intense that he wouldn’t even allow himself to rate players like Patrick Vieira and Denis Bergkamp.
The current Wales boss revealed that the competition between the two sides became so fierce that it even surpassed United’s rivalry with traditional foes Liverpool.
“I didn’t like Arsenal,” Giggs told the Daily Mail.
“I didn’t like Vieira ’cos he was dirty and got away with murder. I didn’t like Petit because he had long hair. I didn’t like Bergkamp.
“I didn’t like Pires even though when you meet him now he’s actually dead nice. I wouldn’t even look at them, didn’t know them and didn’t want to. I wouldn’t allow myself to rate any of them.
“Berkgamp? Nah, I told myself he wasn’t as good as Eric Cantona. I wasn’t really that kind of person. It wasn’t really me. But you had to get that in your head, that intense dislike. It was pure motivation. But deep down we knew. They were top drawer and that rivalry was everything to us. Deeper even than Liverpool at that time.”
Giggs scored one of the most iconic goals in FA Cup to beat Arsenal 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final in 1999, as United went on to win the treble that year, so he’ll surely be happy that he will always be able to hold that over his old rivals.