Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has ruled out ever managing Liverpool, saying he was “encouraged to dislike people” from the city when he was growing up.
Giggs arrived at United in 1987, joining the academy as a 14-year-old, and stayed for 29 years as a player and coach until leaving this summer after two years as Louis van Gaal’s assistant.
United are preparing to face Liverpool on Monday night in the Premier League at Anfield and, speaking in a Q&A session after the Welsh Community Football Awards, Giggs said: “I moved from Cardiff to Salford when I was seven. You were literally growing up encouraged to dislike people from Liverpool.
“I played for Salford under-11s and you would play Sefton, Liverpool boys, Bootle boys and the rivalry was so great. You grow up with it.”
Giggs is currently working as a pundit ahead of a planned career in management, and he recently said he did not pursue the position of Swansea City boss because the Welsh club’s “ambitions didn’t really match” his.
When asked if he could ever manage Liverpool, though, Giggs replied: “No. Just a no. That’s no disrespect to Liverpool, I just wouldn’t. I would no longer have friends.
“Liverpool is a team who, for me, was always our biggest rivals because, growing up, they were winning everything and they were the team to emulate. They are a fantastic club but the rivalry is too big for me to manage Liverpool.
“I’m sure Steven Gerrard would say the same about managing Manchester United. He would simply say no.”
Giggs added: “I was always a United fan — my grandmother hammered it home — ‘You are a United fan.’ She loved the Busby Babes, she loved George Best. She was the driving force behind me being a Man United supporter.”
Arindam is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him @ARejSport