Ryan Giggs has named former Inter Milan and Argentina right-back Javier Zanetti as the toughest opponent he played against during his illustrious career – and with good reason.
Few players could claim to match the longevity and success of Giggs' career after 24 years of playing at the top with Man Utd.
In terms of experience, there is little Giggs has not seen or achieved at club level as he tore up United's left flank both at home and abroad.
During that time he's left more than a few opponents trailing in his wake, however it was Zanetti who left a lasting impression.
"The hardest player I played against was [Javier] Zanetti from Inter Milan," Giggs told the latest MUTV Group Chat.
"He ran all day and he used to be a midfielder so he was comfortable on the ball, he could defend, he was tough and he actually broke my nose in the quarter-finals against them.
"He had everything as a defender."
Zanetti had caught Giggs in the face with an elbow during the Champions League tie in 1999.
Giggs and United did have the last laugh on that occasion though, beating Inter 3-1 on aggregate on their way to completing their momentous treble in 1999.
Like the former United winger, Zanetti also enjoyed a glittering career, and spent 19 years with Inter, winning numerous honours.
And the feeling between the two players is certainly mutual.
Speaking on a Twitter Q&A in 2014, Zanetti said: "I remember our own personal duel. You are one of the toughest opponents I have ever played against!"
Giggs snubbed the likes of Brazil legend Cafu and ex-Barcelona star Dani Alves when opting for Zanetti, but that was arguably an easier decision than picking the best players he played alongside over the years.
Having outlasted several transition periods at United, Giggs had no shortage of stars to choose from, but two players stood out.
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