Former Man United captain retires from football
Former Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia has announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.
The Ecuadorian spent nine years at old Trafford playing against some of the greatest players to have ever graced the English Premier League like Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney among others.
The winger was signed by legendary Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson to fill the void left by Cristiano Rinaldo.
He also played under David Moyes, Luis Van Gaal, and Jose Mourinho who eventually turned him into a right-back before leaving the club under Solskjaer’s reign.
After progressing through the youth system at El Nacional, Valencia became a first team regular and made over 80 appearances for the club. He won the Ecuadorian Serie A with them before signing for La Liga side Villarreal in 2005. He only made two league appearances for the Spanish side in between loan spells at Recreativo for the 2005–06 season and later English Premier League club Wigan Athletic from 2006 to 2008.
Wigan Athletic later signed Valencia on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee in January 2008. His performances for Wigan Athletic soon attracted attention from several high-profile clubs, eventually signing for Manchester United in June 2009.
Valencia was voted into the PFA Team of the Year in his debut season with the club, and he went on to win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups, three FA Community Shields and the UEFA Europa League.
Valencia made his Ecuador debut in 2004 and has represented his country at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the 2007 Copa América, the 2011 Copa América, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Copa América Centenario and the 2019 Copa América.
Valencia won 99 caps and scored 11 goals for his country. (Source: wikpedia)
The Ecuadorian said, “The most beautiful memory I have is of the first time I put on the Manchester United shirt. I worked a lot to get there.”