Antonio Valencia

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This article is about the footballer. For the boxer, see Antonio Valencia (boxer). For the Bolivian player, see Antonio Valencia (Bolivian footballer). For the Colombian composer and pianist, see Antonio Maria Valencia.
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Valencia and the second or maternal family name is Mosquera.
Antonio Valencia
Antonio Valencia cropped.jpg
Valencia playing for Manchester United in 2009
Personal information
Full name Luis Antonio Valencia Mosquera[1]
Date of birth (1985-08-04) 4 August 1985 (age 30)[2]
Place of birth Lago Agrio, Ecuador
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[3][4]
Playing position Right winger
Right full-back
Club information
Current team
Manchester United
Number 25
Youth career
1999–2001 Caribe Junior
2001–2004 El Nacional
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2005 El Nacional 83 (11)
2005–2008 Villarreal 2 (0)
2005–2006 Recreativo (loan) 12 (0)
2006–2008 Wigan Athletic (loan) 37 (1)
2008–2009 Wigan Athletic 47 (6)
2009– Manchester United 166 (13)
National team
2004–2005 Ecuador U20
2005– Ecuador 75 (8)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 26 September 2015.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 31 March 2015

Luis Antonio Valencia Mosquera, commonly known as Antonio Valencia (Spanish pronunciation: [anˈtonjo βaˈlensja]; born 4 August 1985), is an Ecuadorian footballer who plays as a right winger and right-back for Manchester United and the Ecuador national team.[5]

After progressing through the youth system at El Nacional, Valencia became a first team regular and made over 80 appearances for the club before signing for La Liga side Villarreal in 2005. He only made two league appearances for the Spanish side in between successful loan spells at Recreativo de Huelva for the 2005–06 season and later English Premier League club Wigan Athletic from 2006 to 2008. Wigan later signed Valencia on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee in January 2008. His performances for Wigan soon attracted attention from several high profile clubs, eventually signing for Manchester United in June 2009. Valencia has since won the 2009–10 Football League Cup, the 2010 FA Community Shield, the 2010–11 Premier League, the 2012–13 Premier League and the 2013 FA Community Shield during his time at Manchester United, along with being voted into PFA Team of the Year in his debut season.

Valencia made his Ecuador debut in 2005 and scored two goals in the process. He represented his country at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the 2007 Copa América, the 2011 Copa América and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Since making his debut, Valencia has won over 70 caps and scored eight goals for his country.

Early life[edit]

Valencia was born on 4 August 1985 in Lago Agrio, near the city of Nueva Loja, Ecuador, which is located in the Amazon rainforest.[6] 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.[7] Valencia used to play barefoot on the pitch next to the bungalow he shared with his parents, five brothers and sister.[8]

When Valencia was aged 11, scout Pedro "Papi" Perlaza spotted him playing on a dusty field near his home, and signed him to the local FA-run sports academy in Sucumbíos.[9] At the age of 16, Valencia didn't tell his father he left home to take up an offer to play for El Nacional, the military-backed club in Quito.[10] Nobody knew about Valencia’s decision, except his mother and his elder brother, Carlos Alfredo, who paid the fare for his eight-hour bus journey.[11] Valencia began in central midfield and on a salary of 50 dollars a month.[10]

Club career[edit]

El Nacional[edit]

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"’ Benítez and scored 11 goals in 84 matches.[12] Valencia made his debut for El Nacional alonsgside his idol Édison Méndez.[12] 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 football team's manager and Spanish clubs.

Villarreal and Recreativo[edit]

Valencia moved to Spanish club Villarreal in 2005.[13] After failing to break into the first-team, however, he was loaned to Recreativo de Huelva to gain experience.[14] Valencia helped Recreativo gain promotion to La Liga as they finished the season top of the table.[15][16]

Wigan Athletic[edit]

Valencia taking on Arsenal's Gaël Clichy for Wigan Athletic in 2008

On 3 August 2006, Valencia joined English Premier League club Wigan Athletic, initially on a year-long loan deal.[17] He made his debut for Wigan on 19 August, in a 2–1 loss away to Newcastle United.[18] His first goal for Wigan came in a 4–0 home win over Manchester City on 21 October.[19] Valencia returned after a three-month absence as he played 78 minutes of a 2–0 home loss to Everton on 21 January 2007.[20] Valencia was sent off for the first time for Wigan on 9 April, receiving a straight red card for a two-footed challenge on Wilfred Bouma during a 1–1 away draw against Aston Villa.[21] Valencia ended his first season with one goal, one assist and one red card in his 22 appearances.[22]

The loan was extended into the following season, and on 18 January 2008, he transferred for an undisclosed fee, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract.[23] The deal was said to be worth around £5 million.[24] Valencia scored his first goal of the 2007–08 season in a 2–0 win over Derby County on 23 February,[25] before netting his first Wigan brace in a 2–0 away victory over Aston Villa on 3 May.[26] Valencia ended the season with three goals and three assists in 32 appearances in all competitions.[27]

Valencia's first goal of the following season came in Wigan's 5–0 away victory over Hull City on 30 August.[28] He then grabbed a goal in the 2–1 home win over Manchester City on 28 September,[29] but followed it up by receiving a red card in the 3–2 loss at Liverpool on 18 October.[30] Valencia scored his final goal for Wigan on 13 December, as he inspired them to a 3–0 victory over Blackburn Rovers.[31] Wigan boss Steve Bruce confirmed that Valencia turned down the chance to join Real Madrid in January 2009.[32] On 9 February, Valencia was ruled out of action for three weeks after suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury.[33] In early June 2009, Wigan chairman Dave Whelan announced that he would not force Valencia to stay at the club.[34] Valencia scored seven goals in 88 appearances during his time at Wigan.[35]

Manchester United[edit]


On 30 June 2009, Valencia became Manchester United's first summer signing, having cut his holiday short to have a medical with the club. He signed a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee, rumoured to be in the region of £16 million.[36]

On 29 July, he made his debut for United and scored his first goal in the process, netting United's second in a 2–1 pre-season victory over Boca Juniors in the Audi Cup.[37] He 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.[38] On 17 October, he scored his first competitive goal for the club, scoring United's second in a 2–1 league victory against Bolton Wanderers.[39] His first UEFA Champions League goal followed four days later in a 1–0 away victory against CSKA Moscow.[40]

Valencia provided the assist for Wayne Rooney's winning goal in the 2010 League Cup Final against Aston Villa on 28 February 2010, Valencia was named Man of the Match as United won 2–1.[41] On 25 April, 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.[42]

Valencia taking a corner kick in the 2–2 draw away to Fulham on 22 August 2010

On 8 August, Valencia scored United's first goal in their 3–1 win over Chelsea in the 2010 Community Shield.[43] During a Champions League game against Rangers on 14 September, Valencia suffered a break to his left ankle. An operation the morning after the match showed that his left ankle was fractured and dislocated, and that his ankle ligaments were damaged. On 28 February 2011, Valencia returned to training with Manchester United's first-team.

He played his first game back from injury against Arsenal in the FA Cup sixth round on 12 March 2011. On 9 April, he scored his first league goal of the season as he netted the second of a 2–0 home win over Fulham. Days later, he scored the first goal in United's 4–1 victory against the German team Schalke 04 in the second leg of the semifinal of the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League, game in which he was selected as player of the match.[44] On 14 May, he became the first Ecuadorian player to win the English Premier League in the 2010–11 season.[45] Valencia was a starter in United's 3–1 Champions League Final defeat to FC Barcelona, preferred instead of Nani in the line-up at Wembley Stadium.

2011–12 season[edit]

On 1 August 2011, Valencia agreed a new four-year deal with Manchester United that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2015.[46] Prior to the start of the 2011–12 season, Valencia picked up an ankle injury on international duty with Ecuador at the Copa América during the summer. He missed United's entire pre-season tour of the United States because of the injury. He also missed the first month of the season because of a lack of match fitness. Valencia made his first start of the season away at Benfica in the first group stage match of the UEFA Champions League. On 18 September 2011, he returned to Premier League action, replacing the injured Chris Smalling at right back in the 3–1 win against Chelsea. He 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. Valencia scored his first goal of the season, in a fourth round League Cup tie against Aldershot Town, receiving the ball in the middle of the park and then turning and firing in from 25-yards to seal a 3–0 victory.

Valencia scored his second goal of the season, the opening goal in Manchester United's Champions League fixture against Oțelul Galați. The game finished 2–0. On 26 December 2011, Valencia scored the fourth goal for Manchester United in a 5–0 home win against Wigan Athletic. He received the ball on the right hand edge of the penalty area and rifled a shot across goal and into the far corner. On 22 January 2012, Valencia scored the first goal against Arsenal with a header, before later setting up Danny Welbeck to win the game 2–1. On 2 April 2012, in his 100th appearance for the club in all competitions, Valencia scored the first goal in a 2–0 win against Blackburn Rovers, which many experts said was "like Roberto Carlos," as Valencia cut into the box and scored by curling the ball around Paul Robinson and going into his far post. Five minutes later, Valencia set up the second goal to Ashley Young, who spun around the defender and curl the ball inside the bottom corner. Valencia was also chosen as man of the match for his role in the game.

Valencia received the Manchester United fans' and players' player of the year award and award for goal of the season award, for his goal against Blackburn Rovers.

2012–13 season[edit]

Valencia in training on a pre-season tour of South Africa in July 2012

On 3 July 2012, it was confirmed that 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 due to Valencia's great form and season. The number 25 shirt was given to Valencia's new team-mate Nick Powell.[47] On 17 April 2013, Valencia scored his first league goal of the season, against West Ham United. On 22 April, Valencia won his second Premier League title after Manchester United defeated Aston Villa in a 3–0 home win.

2013–14 season[edit]

After an indifferent 2012–13 season wearing the number 7 shirt, Valencia returned to his former number 25 shirt.[48] Valencia started the season with a goal against Sevilla FC in Rio Ferdinand's testimonial at Old Trafford in a 1–3 defeat on 9 August 2013. Valencia subsequently appeared in the Community Shield against Wigan coming on as a substitute for Wilfried Zaha in the 62nd minute.Valencia started the Champions League campaign with a goal against Bayer Leverkusen the fourth in a 4-2 home victory as well as giving Robin Van Persie an assist for the first on that night on 18 September 2013. Valencia got his first goal of the Premier League season against Fulham on 2 November 2013, the first in a 3-1 away win. Valencia scored the first goal in the away fixture 5–0 victory to Manchester United against Bayer Leverkusen in the group stage of Champions League on 27 November 2013. Bringing his Champions League goal tally to 8 goals. On 11 January 2014, Valencia scored in the 47th minute against Swansea City in a 2-0 home win. On 21 June 2014, Valencia signed a three-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2018.

2014–15 season[edit]

2015–16 season[edit]

Valencia saw his role reduced as he lost his starting spot to Memphis Depay. On 25 October 2015, Valencia suffered a foot injury in a 0–0 draw with Manchester City, which would require surgery and rule him out for at least four months.[49]

International career[edit]

Valencia (right) playing for the national team in 2015.

Ecuador U20[edit]

Valencia was fast tracked through the under-20 team, alongside Christian Benítez.[citation needed]

Ecuador senior team[edit]

On 27 March 2005, Valencia's gained his first international cap for Ecuador and netted his first two international goals in the process, coming in a 5–2 World Cup qualifying win against Paraguay.[50] Three days later he scored again in a qualifying match, this time netting in 2–2 draw away to Peru.[51] 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.[6] He was also shortlisted as one of the six potential candidates for the Gillette Best Young Player award.[52] An email broadly circulated in England encouraged votes for Valencia, in an attempt to prevent Cristiano Ronaldo from winning.[53] Valencia ended up receiving the greatest number of votes in the online poll,[54] 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.

On 27 June 2007, Valencia netted Ecuador's first goal of their 2007 Copa América campaign, however they eventually lost the match 3–2 to Chile and finished the tournament bottom of their group.[55] Valenica received hs first red card for Ecuador on 12 October 2008, during a 1–0 victory over Chile in a World Cup qualifier.[56] On 9 September 2009, Valencia scored his first World Cup qualifying goal, netting in a 3–1 away victory over Bolivia.[57] On 10 October 2009, he netted for the second qualifier in a row, this time netting Ecuador's single goal in a 2–1 defeat to the hands of Uruguay.[58]

On 3 July 2011, in a match against Paraguay at the 2011 Copa América, he suffered a sprained left ankle and was forced off at half-time.[59]

In June 2014, Valenica was named in Ecuador's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[60] In a preparation match, he captained the team to a 2–2 draw with England at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami. During the match, he was fouled by Raheem Sterling and responded by shoving Sterling and grabbing him by the throat. Referee Jair Marrufo decided to send off both Valencia and Sterling.[61][62] Valencia later apologized for his reaction.[63][64]

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 Maracanã which saw his team eliminated.[65] He missed the 2015 Copa América in Chile due to urgent ankle surgery.[66]

Career statistics[edit]


Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Other[nb 1] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
El Nacional 2003 29 3 29 3
2004 41 5 4 0 45 5
2005 14 4 14 4
Total 84 12 4 0 88 12
Villarreal 2005–06 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Recreativo (loan) 2005–06 12 0 12 0
Total 12 0 12 0
Wigan Athletic (loan) 2006–07 22 1 0 0 0 0 22 1
2007–08 15 0 0 0 0 0 15 0
Wigan Athletic 2007–08 16 3 1 0 0 0 17 3
2008–09 31 3 1 0 3 0 35 3
Total 84 7 2 0 3 0 89 7
Manchester United 2009–10 34 5 1 0 4 0 9 2 1 0 49 7
2010–11 10 1 2 0 0 0 7 1 1 1 20 3
2011–12 27 4 2 0 3 1 6 1 0 0 38 6
2012–13 30 1 6 0 0 0 4 0 40 1
2013–14 29 2 1 0 3 0 10 2 1 0 44 4
2014–15 32 0 3 0 0 0 35 0
2015–16 5 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 9 0
Total 167 13 15 0 11 1 39 6 3 1 235 21
Career total 349 32 17 0 14 1 43 6 3 1 426 40

Statistics accurate as of 24 October 2015.[67][68][69][70]



Manchester United


Personal life[edit]

Valencia and his wife, Zoila, have a daughter named Domenica,[9] who was born during the 2006 World Cup finals.[12] Along with former Wigan teammates Maynor Figueroa and Wilson Palacios, Valencia began taking English lessons (although Valencia still requires an interpreter).[8] Whilst at Wigan his English lessons would be once a week, however since his move to Manchester United they are sometimes everyday.[10] Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson described Valencia as a quiet and shy boy.[76] His older brother, Éder, is also a professional footballer playing for Independiente José Terán in Ecuador.[77]


  1. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup


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External links[edit]