It is with no little irony that the most fitting tribute paid to Ryan Giggs as his 29-year association with Manchester United comes to an end, should come from Jose Mourinho.
It is the arrival of the ‘Special One’ at Old Trafford, of course, that inevitably led to the departure of perhaps the club’s greatest-ever servant.
Mourinho knew, when he accepted the offer to become boss in the warmest hot-seat in football, that he couldn’t pile even more heat on himself by allowing such an obvious successor to stand so close to his shoulder-blades.
He knew the first sign of trouble would have fans wondering whether Giggs should have been given the job, and would also have the vocal army of ex-United players now in the media to raise the same question.
So his response was to try to dilute that threat, as all astute managers do, to ask for his own assistant manager, and try to move the Old Trafford legend a few steps away from the first team.