Ryan Giggs enjoys 'special' UCL record

Ryan Giggs breaks Champions League record (0:53)

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs broke Raul's Champions League appearance record after featuring in the competition for the 145th time against Shakhtar Donetsk. (0:53)

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs savoured his achievement after breaking Raul’s record for the most appearances in the Champions League.

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Giggs, 39, came off the bench in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk to play his 145th game, including qualifying matches, in Europe’s premier club competition.

The Welshman, a Champions League winner in 1999 and 2008, had drawn level with Raul in March’s defeat to the Spain international’s former club Real Madrid -- although Raul still holds the record for appearances excluding qualifiers, with 142 to Giggs' 135.

He now tops the list, ahead of Paolo Maldini (140 appearances), Xavi (136), Clarence Seedorf (131) and his former United team-mate Paul Scholes (130).

Giggs told MUTV: "It means a lot. It's the pinnacle of European football and to play that many games is obviously special."

United manager David Moyes joined in the praise for player-coach Giggs, saying: “It was fantastic. He knew that he was going to come off the bench to do it, but what an achievement and what a player.”

Giggs already held United’s appearance record in all competitions, having gone past Sir Bobby Charlton’s previous best of 757 in the 2008 Champions League final success against Chelsea, and has now represented the club 947 times.

The draw against Shakhtar gave United four points from their first two Champions League games and Giggs is optimistic they will qualify for the last 16.

He added: "We are in a good position. Hopefully we can get a few victories from the next couple of games."