Antonio Valencia: Ex-Manchester United captain retires from football

Antonio Valencia
Antonio Valencia (left) with Eric Bailly (centre) and Paul Pogba (right) after his final game for Manchester United, against Cardiff in May 2019

Former Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia has retired.

The Ecuadorian, 35, spent 10 years at Old Trafford, winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the Europa League.

He joined United from Wigan Athletic in 2009 for £16m - the club's first signing after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80m.

Valencia left United in 2019 to join Ecuador's L.D.U. Quito.

"I did not think this moment would come so soon, but my body has asked me to retire from football," Valencia wrote on his Twitter account.external-link

He spent 2021 playing for Mexican side Queretaro, whose season ended earlier this month.

Valencia, who also won two Carabao Cups and six Community Shields at Old Trafford, played 339 games for United, scoring 25 times.

He was signed from Wigan as a right winger, but eventually converted to right-back and was made captain in 2018.

"I will never forget everything I experienced at Old Trafford," Valencia said. "I will never forget every goal, every trophy and the wonderful fans."

He added: "To fans of all the countries where I have played, I always tried to give my best. Thank you for your affection and support."

Valencia played 99 times for Ecuador, scoring 11 goals and represented his country at the World Cup in 2006 and 2014, and four Copa America tournaments.

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