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Arsenal hero Lauren names Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs as his toughest opponent


Lauren played some Premier League legends during six-and-a-half years at Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)

Two-time Premier League winner with Arsenal, Lauren, says Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs is the toughest opponent he ever faced, although he also kept the Welshman in his pocket when he really needed to.

The Cameroonian signed for Arsenal in the summer of 2000 and was go on to make 242 appearances in all competitions, winning the Premier League title in 2002 and ’04 and a hat-trick of FA Cups.

The right-back came up against some of the best players in the history of the Premier League during his spell with the Gunners, and then a stint with Portsmouth afterwards, and has picked out Giggs as his most difficult challenge.

‘Without any doubt, Ryan Giggs was the toughest opponent I ever came up against,’ said Lauren, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Tottenham v Arsenal.

‘He was such a clever player. He always had one eye on where you were and the space in behind you. He had quick feet and so much speed on the ball; he could breeze past players with ease.’

Ryan Giggs and Lauren clashing in 2003 (Picture: Getty Images)

Lauren admits that the flying winger was very difficult to contain most times he faced him, but says there was one time that he felt entirely in control of the Red Devils icon.

Arsenal famously clinched the league title at Old Trafford in May 2002 as Sylvain Wiltord scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory and Lauren says he was firmly in command in his battle with Giggs.

‘I do have to say, though, one of my best games in an Arsenal shirt came against Man United, when we won the league at Old Trafford,’ continued Lauren. ‘That day, I put Ryan Giggs in my pocket. That game was brilliant.’

Giggs evading Lauren in April 2004 (Picture: Getty Images)

Giggs has been asked the same question before and did not return the compliment, instead opting for Inter Milan legend Javier Zanetti.

‘The hardest player I played against was [Javier] Zanetti from Inter Milan,’ Giggs told the MUTV Group Chat in 2000.

‘He ran all day and he used to be a midfielder so he was comfortable on the ball, he could defend, he was tough and he actually broke my nose in the quarter-finals against them. He had everything as a defender.’


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