Ryan Giggs holds the Manchester United record for most ever appearances with nearly 200 more matches for the club than Sir Bobby Charlton in second place.
Giggs has played over 650 times for the club in league football and made his 150th European appearance in the recent away tie at Real Madrid.
They are numbers that very few other players will get anywhere near during their careers but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.
There are several young United players in the current side who are consistently selected by Sir Alex Ferguson and could get close to Giggs’ numbers if they stay at the club and stay fit.
David De Gea is the number one at United which means he will be selected for a high ratio of matches if he chooses to stay at Old Trafford throughout his career.
However, that seems unlikely considering the number of links he has back in Spain and the speculation, which constantly links him with a move back to La Liga at some point in his career.
Phil Jones is still only 21-years-old and his versatility as a defender and a holding midfield player means he’s going to wrack up a lot of games over the next few seasons.
He’s a very fit and promising player who could easily make hundreds of appearances for United if he takes good care of himself and plays long into his 30s.
Rafael is in a similar position to De Gea in the respect that he’s made his right back position his own this season, which means for the majority of matches, he’s the number one player in that slot.
However, again, it could be difficult for him to stay at Manchester United for his whole career which means he won’t have the chance to try and break Giggs’ records.
What seems more likely is another player in some part of the world accumulating a higher number of appearances but at different clubs.
Giggs is a complete fitness freak which is one of the main reasons he’s been able to play on at United so effectively for so long.
His numbers may be eclipsed by someone else at some point in the future but he stands a very good chance of holding the appearance record for playing at a single club, for longer than he may have ever dreamed of.
Will his appearance records ever be broken?
image: © Paolo Camera