45 Facts About Antonio Valencia

1.

Luis Antonio Valencia Mosquera, known as Antonio Valencia, is an Ecuadorian former professional footballer who played primarily as a right-sided player throughout his career, initially as a right winger, before developing into a right-back.

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2.

Antonio Valencia won the Ecuadorian Serie A with them before signing for La Liga side Villarreal in 2005.

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3.

In July 2019 Antonio Valencia returned to Ecuador, signing with LDU Quito, with whom he won the inaugural Copa Ecuador in his first season.

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4.

Antonio Valencia made his Ecuador debut in 2004 and has represented his country at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the 2007 Copa America, the 2011 Copa America, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Copa America Centenario and the 2019 Copa America.

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5.

Antonio Valencia was born on 4 August 1985 in Lago Agrio, near the city of Nueva Loja, Ecuador, which is located in the Amazon rainforest.

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6.

Antonio Valencia helped his mother sell drinks outside the stadium of his local club at Lago Agrio and would then search for empty bottles for his father to sell to a bottle-deposit in the capital, Quito.

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7.

Antonio Valencia used to play barefoot on the pitch next to the bungalow he shared with his parents, five brothers and sister.

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8.

At the age of 16, Antonio Valencia did not tell his father he left home to take up an offer to play for El Nacional, the military-backed club in Quito.

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9.

Antonio Valencia began in central midfield and on a salary of 50 dollars a month.

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10.

Antonio Valencia started his career at El Nacional and within a year he was fast-tracked into the under-20s, where he played alongside striker Christian "Chucho"' Benitez.

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11.

Antonio Valencia made his debut for El Nacional alongside his idol Edison Mendez.

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12.

Antonio Valencia won his first club title as part of the El Nacional team that won the 2005 Clausura Tournament, earning him the attention of both the national team's manager and Spanish clubs.

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13.

Antonio Valencia helped Recreativo gain promotion to La Liga as they finished the season top of the table.

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14.

On 3 August 2006, Antonio Valencia joined English Premier League club Wigan Athletic, initially on a year-long loan deal.

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15.

Wigan boss Steve Bruce confirmed that Antonio Valencia turned down the chance to join Real Madrid in January 2009.

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16.

On 9 February 2009, Antonio Valencia was ruled out of action for three weeks after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury.

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17.

On 30 June 2009, Antonio Valencia became Manchester United's first summer signing, having cut his holiday short to have a medical with the club.

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18.

Antonio Valencia made his competitive debut for Manchester United in the 2009 FA Community Shield, when he came on for the injured Nani in the 62nd minute.

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19.

On 25 April 2010, Antonio Valencia was included in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in his debut season for the club alongside teammates Patrice Evra, Darren Fletcher, and Wayne Rooney.

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20.

On 28 February 2011, Antonio Valencia returned to training with Manchester United's first team.

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21.

Antonio Valencia played his first game back from injury against Arsenal in the FA Cup sixth round on 12 March 2011.

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22.

On 1 August 2011, Antonio Valencia agreed a new four-year deal with Manchester United, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2015.

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23.

Antonio Valencia missed United's entire pre-season tour of the United States because of the injury.

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24.

Antonio Valencia missed the first month of the season because of a lack of match fitness.

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25.

Antonio Valencia made his first start of the season away at Benfica in the first group stage match of the UEFA Champions League.

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26.

Antonio Valencia then continued to play right-back in the next three games against Leeds United in the League Cup, away at Stoke City, and home against Norwich City in the Premier League.

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27.

Antonio Valencia scored his second goal of the season, the opening goal in Manchester United's Champions League fixture against Otelul Galati.

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28.

Antonio Valencia received the ball on the right hand edge of the penalty area and rifled a shot across goal and into the far corner.

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29.

Antonio Valencia won the Manchester United Goal of the Season award for his goal against Blackburn Rovers on 2 April 2012.

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30.

On 3 July 2012, it was confirmed that Antonio Valencia would wear the number 7 shirt, worn by past players such as Johnny Berry, Steve Coppell, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, after Sir Alex Ferguson offered the number upon Michael Owen's departure from the club.

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31.

On 17 April 2013, Antonio Valencia scored his first league goal of the season, against West Ham United.

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32.

Antonio Valencia subsequently appeared in the Community Shield against Wigan coming on as a substitute for Wilfried Zaha in the 62nd minute.

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33.

Arrival of new manager Louis van Gaal led to Antonio Valencia being deployed in both the right-back and right-wing back positions, where he had occasionally played under both Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes.

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34.

Antonio Valencia left Manchester United having registered 325 Premier League appearances, which remains a record for a South American player.

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35.

On 27 November 2020, Antonio Valencia signed with Mexican club Queretaro on a free transfer.

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36.

On 12 May 2021, Antonio Valencia announced his retirement from professional football.

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37.

Antonio Valencia made his senior international debut for Ecuador in 2004.

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38.

Antonio Valencia played in all of Ecuador's 2006 FIFA World Cup matches, and was chosen as a nominee for FIFA's ideal 11 team, which recognises the top stars for every position in the World Cup.

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39.

Antonio Valencia was shortlisted as one of the six potential candidates for the Gillette Best Young Player award.

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40.

Antonio Valencia ended up receiving the greatest number of votes in the online poll, but since the award's winner is determined by a combination of the fan vote and a judging panel, the award was eventually given to Lukas Podolski.

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41.

In June 2014, Antonio Valencia was named in Ecuador's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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42.

Antonio Valencia captained La Tri during all three of their matches at the World Cup and was sent off for a foul on Lucas Digne during their final game against France, a goalless draw at the Maracana which saw his team eliminated.

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43.

Antonio Valencia missed the 2015 Copa America in Chile due to urgent ankle surgery.

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44.

Antonio Valencia and his wife, Zoila, have a daughter named Domenica, who was born during the 2006 World Cup.

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45.

Antonio Valencia's older brother, Eder, was a professional footballer who played for Independiente Jose Teran in Ecuador.

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