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Old Trafford veteran has scooped the prestigious prize and will have a permanent mould of his footprints put on Monte Carlo's 'champions promenade'

By Greg Stobart in Monte Carlo

Manchester United star Ryan Giggs was announced as the winner of the Golden Foot award for 2011 at a glittering event in Monte Carlo on Monday night.

Prince Albert II of Monaco presented the trophy to the midfielder after he came out highest in the record number of votes cast on the competition's website.

The 37-year-old will have a permanent mould of his feet put on Monte Carlo’s ‘champions promenade’, which includes some of the biggest names in footballing history such as Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane and Alfredo Di Stefano.

Giggs paid tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson for the United manager's role in his 20-year career at Old Trafford and also failed to rule out retirement at the end of the season.

"I have been fortunate to play alongside great players, play for the greatest manager and play for the best club in the world," he said after picking up the award.

“When we lose he is scary but Sir Alex is hard but fair. He demands a lot from his players, as he does from himself.

"He is the best manager and it's great to have had him there throughout my career.

“It's a great honour to win such an award and to have my footprints alongside some of the greatest football players is a real privilege.

“I suppose I will have to start thinking about retirement soon but at the moment I am still enjoying my football. If it all finished tomorrow I could say that I have had a fantastic career and wouldn't swap it with anybody.

“I'm enjoying it now just like I was when I was 17, that's one of the main reasons I'm still going.”

Giggs beat former team-mate David Beckham to the prize as well as fellow nominees Gianluigi Buffon, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto'o, Iker Casillas, Javier Zanetti and Carles Puyol.

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