Eleven years after making his final international appearance for Wales, Ryan Giggs is set to be appointed as Chris Coleman’s successor.
Giggs, who played sixty-four times for Wales across a sixteen-year period, will now take on his first full-time role in football management.
Having worked in a coaching and assistant managerial capacity under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal at Manchester United respectively, Giggs briefly held the reigns on an interim basis before van Gaal was appointed in 2014.
Manchester United’s record appearance holder, the Welshman enjoyed an incredibly successful playing career with United, winning 13 Premier League titles across almost 1,000 games for the club.
By and large, his international career was a more modest affair. At one stage missing eighteen consecutive friendly matches for his country, Giggs retired from international football in 2007.
Admittedly approaching his 34th birthday, that Giggs would go on to play for United for a further seven years did little to dissuade the notion that he failed to take his international commitments as seriously as those at Manchester United.
Giggs will take over a squad that has fresh memories of their over-achievements at Euro 2016. Reaching the semi-finals of the competition, only to be beaten by eventual winners Portugal, the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey give Giggs plenty to feel positive about.
Under Coleman, the team demonstrated a unity and effectiveness that had rarely been present in Welsh sides of decades gone by.
Giggs will be hopeful that he can revitalise the squad after a disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign that ended with Ireland pipping Wales to the play-off places in the final round of matches.
Wales have demonstrated their willingness to employ largely inexperienced managers before. In 1999, recently sacked Stoke City manager was similarly handed his first job in football management by the Welsh FA.