Giggs and Neville eye Malta mission

Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville will swap Manchester for Malta when they call time on their glittering careers.  

Though the Manchester United pair aren’t hanging up their boots just yet, they are already planning for a life away from Old Trafford, investing nearly £2 million into a hotel project on the island.

Giggs, 35, and Neville, 34 - who first visited the Mediterranean island as apprentices - appear set to continue their love affair with Malta, lining up careers in the hotel business when their playing days are behind them. 

The Red Devils duo, who have been friends since their early teens, have ploughed 1.1 million euros each into a shares and bond issue by the Island Hotel Group.

“It’s great timing for us. We don’t know how long we’re going to be playing,” said Giggs. “It’s exciting times for us to be doing something away from football.”

Last February, the pair were given a hero’s welcome when Malta’s United supporters branch marked its 50th anniversary. And Neville wants to give something back to the island he has had an affinity with since his early United days.

“We’d like to do something very big in Malta in the next 12 to 24 months, and try to deliver something on the island everyone can be proud of,” he said.

Despite being a far cry from professional football, Giggs - England’s most decorated player - thinks the United pair can replicate their playing successes off the pitch. “It’s just getting the best of what Malta can achieve – we feel Malta can go to the next level," he said. 

While Neville, who already has a villa on the island, clearly supports his team-mate’s vision, adding: “There is an untapped market out there. Malta’s got so much potential as a country. It needs a bit more X factor, that little star quality, to complement its fantastic history, weather and culture.”