Ex-Man United captain, Antonio Valencia, retires from football

Ex-Man United captain, Antonio Valencia, retires from football

Former Manchester United skipper, Antonio Valencia, on Wednesday announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.

The Ecuadorian spent a decade of his over 20-years career at Old Trafford having joined from Wigan Athletic for £19.92m shortly after Cristiano Ronaldo's departure in 2009.

The swashbuckling footballer on Wednesday betrayed his emotion via a post to United fans on his verified Twitter handle.

"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 traveled 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. 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 won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two Carabao Cups, the Europa League and six Community Shields

Another United legend, Rio Ferdinand, congratulated his former teammate and wished him a happy retirement in a farewell message posted 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," he wrote.

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