Manchester United have confirmed that Ryan Giggs is leaving the club after 29 years, citing his ambition to be a manager.
The Welshman had one more year on his contract as assistant manager at the club, but new boss Jose Mourinho is expected to give that role to Rui Faria.
The Old Trafford club had hoped 42-year-old Giggs could be persuaded to stay on in a different role.
But he is bowing out with a trophy haul that includes 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League victories and four FA Cups.
A statement from Manchester United said: “Ryan Giggs is to leave Manchester United, the club he has been with since the age of 14, to pursue his desire to be a manager.”
Giggs was an exception in football in that he spent his entire playing career at one club, making a record 963 appearances for the team.
He said: “After 29 seasons at Manchester United as a player and assistant manager, I know winning is in the DNA of this club – giving youth a chance, and playing attacking and exciting football.
“It’s healthy to have high expectations, it’s right to expect to win. Manchester United expects, deserves, nothing less.
“This is why it is a huge decision for me to step away from the club that has been my life since the age of 14.
“It has not been a decision that I have made lightly. I’ll take away so many special memories as well as a lifetime of experiences that will, I hope, serve me well in the future.
“However, the time feels right and, although I have no immediate plans to step into management, it is where I want to be.”
The former winger added: “It’s time for a new chapter and a new challenge. I’m excited about the future – I’ve had the best apprenticeship into management anyone could ever ask for.”
Giggs mostly played under legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
“His place in history is assured,” Sir Alex said. “I doubt we’ll ever see a career like his again.”
Giggs was 17 when he made his first-team debut in March 1991 against Everton. United lost that game 2-0.
He was 40 when he hung up his boots two years ago. He was never sent off for United.
With his mazy dribbling skills, the Welshman scored a total of 168 goals for the Red Devils