One of Ecuador’s greatest players in history, Valencia was a multi-club man with the majority of his career spent at Old Trafford with Manchester United. With two World Cup appearances and 99 internationals, we take a look at some of the top quotes on Antonio Valencia.
Originally a right winger, who turned to the right-back position, Valencia played 14 seasons in the Premier League with both Wigan Athletic and United, before ending his career in 2021 in Mexico.
After spending a couple of seasons in Spain, Valencia joined Wigan in 2006, before being signed up by Manchester United in the summer of 2009. A fixture at the club for ten years, he was in the successful side that won two Premier League, one FA Cup, and one Europa League titles.
His 325 Premier League games are the most by a South American player in the division, and he left United in 2019 having been named as the club captain at the beginning of the season by Jose Mourinho. His 99 international appearances for Ecuador were spread out over a 15 year period.
With team-mate Matteo Darmain, he broke the record for the most goals scored from a corner in one minute, with six during a challenge set up by the Manchester United club.
“It is no secret that I had been an admirer of Antonio’s long before I joined the club…..I knew what a fantastic player he was and he has not disappointed me on that front. However, what I could never have imagined was what a great person he is…..I truly believe it is a real privilege for us to have such a good player and such a good man.”
Jose Mourinho (Manchester United manager)
“…..he’s had a fantastic career here at Man United and in England…..He’s one of the Premier League winners…..he’s the captain, a great servant to the club.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United manager)
“One of the most outstanding players in the history of Ecuadorian football, Antonio Valencia…..”
LDU Quito (football club statement)
“Antonio is something new for Wigan…..He has skill in abundance and combines it with electric pace and a high work-rate…..I’m convinced he has the attributes to make a success of the Premiership.”
Paul Jewell (Wigan Athletic manager)
“He has pace, trickery, he is as strong as an ox and has a great work ethic…..I believe he has the potential to be a top, top player.”
Steve Bruce (Wigan Athletic manager)
“If I can keep the lad, I’m going to keep him. He is one brilliant player.”
Dave Whelan (Wigan Athletic chairman)
“Antonio is a player we have admired for some time now, having spent the last two years in the Premier League with Wigan…..I am sure his pace and ability will make a significant contribution to the team.”
Alex Ferguson (Manchester United manager)
“His contribution to the team…..has been fantastic. Antonio is a very powerful player with great speed and versatility. He is very professional in his approach to training and I am delighted he has committed his future to the club.”
Ryan Giggs (Manchester United assistant manager)
“Antonio has made a fantastic contribution since his arrival. His speed, crossing ability and versatility have been a big asset for us…..He has a quiet, unassuming way of going about his business, which is underlined by great strength of character.”
“It is a privilege for us to be able to keep such a good player and man … He is simply the best right-back you can have. There is no better right-back in football.”
“…..he has looked sharp…..He has been a fantastic servant to the club. He has been Player of the Year, he has won so many trophies.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
“…..he has been a great player…..He moved from right-wing to the back and, let me tell you something, he gave everything for you in every game…..He would run all day…..He has deserved everything he has got, he was won lots of medals…..”
Wes Brown (former Manchester United team-mate)