Ryan Giggs captained England 32 years ago in youth clash with Germany

England fans will wonder what might have been after a 32-year-old photo of Welsh legend Ryan Giggs in action at Wembley for their schoolboys resurfaced on its anniversary.

Born in Cardiff to Welsh parents but raised largely in Salford, Giggs unsurprisingly caught the attention of youth coaches in his adopted home.

Still going by ‘Ryan Wilson’ at the time—his father’s surname—Giggs captained England’s under-15 side to a 3-1 defeat against West Germany on June 10, 1989.

Fans turned up in their droves to watch England’s under-age stars in action at Wembley, with Giggs selected to lead the team in one of numerous appearance he made for the Schoolboys side.

He would cut ties with England and join up with Wales’ under-18s months later, quickly excelling through their setup to earn his first full international cap in 1991.

That proved to be the same year that Giggs made his senior debut for Manchester United, playing his way into Sir Alex Ferguson’s first-team plans a few seasons after leaving rivals Manchester City.

His career would comprise many a highlight for club and country, although the 1989 meeting with West Germany was not one of them.

Giggs' honours with United include a record 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, four FA Cups, three League Cups and a cabinet of individual awards.

Do you think Ryan Giggs could have won a major international title had he chosen to represent England instead of Wales? Let us know in the comments section.

England’s youth succumbed at home to their German opponents, with future England international and Hull City veteran Nicky Barmby also on the team sheet that day.

Some among that West Germany lineup also went on to remain relevant in the sport and, like Giggs, still hold notable positions today.

Defender Jens Nowotny was a Bundesliga runner-up on four occasions with Bayer Leverkusen, while Thomas Reis recently got Bochum promoted back into Germany’s top flight.

Barmby scored twice in conjunction with a Giggs penalty when England Schoolboys met Belgium on March 11, 1989, giving the latter some fonder memories of his time in their setup.

Giggs, 47, earned 64 senior caps for his birth nation across a 16-year international career, though it was often suggested the Welsh wizard prioritised his club career over that of his country.

Nonetheless, Giggs said in 2002 that he never intended to represent England at the senior level: "It still bugs me when people ask if I wished I'd played for England – I'm Welsh, end of story.

"I'd rather go through my career without qualifying for a major championship than play for a country where I wasn't born or which my parents didn't have anything to do with.”

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Wales manager Giggs will not lead the country at Euro 2020 as he stands trial for allegedly ‘assaulting and controlling’ ex-girlfriend Kate Greville during their relationship.

Caretaker coach Rob Page will instead lead the Euro 2016 semi-finalists into the tournament, where Gareth Bale could seek one more shot at international silverware amid retirement rumours.

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