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Giggs rates continental competition hardest of all

Ryan Giggs can count 10 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies among his vast haul of medals but he rates the 1999 Intercontinental Cup as the most difficult of all to win.

sports Updated: Dec 15, 2008 10:14 IST

Ryan Giggs can count 10 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies among his vast haul of medals but he rates the 1999 Intercontinental Cup as the most difficult of all to win.

The comments by the Manchester United veteran give an insight into just how seriously the club are taking the Club World Cup here this week, which replaced the Intercontinental Cup showdown between European and South American champions.

With a new name, the tournament has been broadened to include the winners of all six continental competitions, making United's task that much more difficult.

Giggs, the most decorated footballer in British history, said he was relishing the challenge, and believes the competition will be harder to win than the Intercontinental Cup.

"The Intercontinental Cup has been the toughest to win," he told FIFA.com when asked about his most satisfying achievements.

"First of all, we had to qualify for the Champions League, which is tough, then you've got to win it, which is even more difficult, and then beat the champions of South America, who had achieved everything we'd achieved."

Giggs was man of the match back in 1999, setting up Roy Keane for the only goal of the game when United defeated Palmeiras in Tokyo.

"I've got good memories of the game," he said.

"In parts Palmeiras were the better team, but we managed to get the goal and it was a great feeling, because the club had never won it.

"Before the game, the manager reminded us of that -- and so we were all focused on winning it -- just as we are today.

"It's a bigger competition now. In the past it was just Europe against South America, but now every continent is involved.

"It would be very special to be crowned champions of the world. Obviously, there's two games to play this time, so it's going to be even tougher, but it would be great if we did."

United, who drew 0-0 with Spurs at White Hart Lane on Saturday and were due in Tokyo on Monday, are seeded and go straight into a semi-final against Japan's Gamba Osaka on Thursday with the final in Yokohama on Sunday.