Football: New Wales manager Ryan Giggs targets qualification for 2020 European Championship

Ryan Giggs succeeds fellow former Wales international Chris Coleman, who bowed out after the national side failed to qualify for this year's World Cup Finals.
Ryan Giggs succeeds fellow former Wales international Chris Coleman, who bowed out after the national side failed to qualify for this year's World Cup Finals. PHOTO: REUTERS

CARDIFF • Ryan Giggs set his sights on leading Wales to the 2020 European Championship after the Manchester United legend was named their new manager yesterday.

It will be his first permanent managerial post and he succeeds fellow former Wales international Chris Coleman, who bowed out after the national side failed to qualify for this year's World Cup Finals in Russia and now manages English Championship side Sunderland.

"I am so proud to have been given the honour of managing the national team," said the 44-year-old in a Football Association of Wales statement. "The challenges that we have ahead of us with the Nations League and qualification for Uefa Euro 2020 excite me a great deal.

"I can't wait to start working with the players as we prepare for those crucial games later in the year."

His first fixture in charge will be the 2018 China Cup against the hosts in Nanning on March 22. This will be his first full-time job as a manager, although he was in caretaker charge of United for four games at the end of the 2013-14 season after David Moyes was sacked.

Giggs, who won 64 Wales caps between 1991 and 2007, has never helped take his country to a major tournament finals. But he will attempt to ensure the Dragons make back-to-back appearances at the European Championship after Coleman coached them to the Euro 2016 semi-finals - Wales's first major tournament for 58 years.

Giggs reportedly signed a contract that will take him up to the 2022 World Cup. He had also been linked with the Stoke job following the sacking of Mark Hughes but Paul Lambert filled the vacancy.

The 48-year-old former Aston Villa and Norwich coach signed a 21/2-year contract after Espanyol's Quique Sanchez Flores and Ireland boss Martin O'Neill ruled themselves out.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2018, with the headline 'New Wales boss Giggs sets Euro 2020 target'. Print Edition | Subscribe