MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 10:00:00| >> :60:1732:1732:

Former Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia announces retirement

Former Man United captain Antonio Valencia announces retirement
© Reuters
The midfielder won two Premier League titles and the Europa League during his time at Manchester United.

Former Manchester United club captain Antonio Valencia has announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.

The Ecuador international, who won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups, three Community Shields and the Europa League during a 10-year stay at Old Trafford, has decided to hang up his boots two years after returning to his native country.

Valencia began his professional career at home with El Nacional before moving to Villarreal in Spain, but it was in England that he made his mark, firstly with Wigan and then at United following a £16million switch.

In a message to United fans on his official Twitter account, he said: "At the age of 14 as a child, I left my family, my village and my first team to travel to the capital of my country. I travelled with a lot of nostalgia, but full of hope.

"A few years later, I was able to travel to Europe, something I had never dreamed of. I played in Spain and then came to my second home, England.

"Wigan was a unique experience, and then God gave me the opportunity to join Manchester United. I will never forget everything I experienced at Old Trafford. I will never forget every goal, every trophy and the wonderful fans.

"I did not think this moment would come so soon, but my body has asked me to make this decision. I am announcing my retirement from football.

Antonio Valencia in action for Manchester United
Antonio Valencia in action for Manchester United (Martin Rickett/PA)

"I want to thank everyone who has been part of my career and my life, God in the first place for always blessing me; Zoila and my daughter Domenik, who have been my pillars; my parents for giving me so much.

"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 left United in the summer of 2019 and later signed for LDU Quito after returning to Ecuador.

Former United team-mate Rio Ferdinand paid tribute to Valencia, writing on Twitter: "What a career, what a player, what a man....One of the most humble men I know. Painfully shy but always made me smile with how shy he was!

"What a professional too, always doing extra training in the gym (so he could look like me).

"Pleasure to play with you. Enjoy retirement Tonio."

ID:447172: cacheID:447172:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:6407:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane pictured on February 14, 2021
Read Next:
Sunday's La Liga predictions including Real Madrid vs. Sevilla
>
Read more about Antonio Valencia Football

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States13141037
ChinaChina136928
JapanJapan134522
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia810725
AustraliaAustralia821020
Great BritainGreat Britain57618
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!