Ryan Giggs is leaving Manchester United after 29 years at Old Trafford, the Premier League club said on Saturday.
The 42-year-old Welshman played 963 games for United, winning 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues in a glittering career before hanging up his boots in 2014.
“After 29 seasons at Manchester United as a player and assistant manager, I know winning is in the DNA of this club – giving youth a chance, and playing attacking and exciting football,” Giggs said in a club statement.
“It’s healthy to have high expectations, it’s right to expect to win. Manchester United expects, deserves, nothing less,” he added.
“This is why it is a huge decision for me to step away from the club that has been my life since the age of 14. It has not been a decision that I have made lightly.
“However, the time feels right and although I have no immediate plans to step into management, it is where I want to be.”
Giggs congratulated Portuguese Mourinho on his appointment.
“There are only a handful of proven winners at the very highest level and Jose is unquestionably one of them,” he said.
“My final thank you is to the fans. I cannot begin to tell you how much I will miss walking out at Old Trafford in front of you. It’s extremely difficult to say goodbye after 29 years. I have loved every minute both as a player and assistant manager.”
United Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward paid tribute to Giggs’s contribution.
“Ryan’s place in the history of Manchester United is assured,” he said.
“He has been a constant presence at the club since 1987 and during his playing days, regularly delighted crowds; first with his dazzling wing play and later with his intelligence and ability to dictate a game.”
“He has tackled his coaching and management responsibilities with similar rigour and diligence. Everyone at the club wishes him well in his new career.”