Ecuador president rewards Antonio Valencia after illustrious Man United career

Ecuador president rewards Antonio Valencia after illustrious Man United career

- Antonio Valencia ended his 10-year career with Man United at the end of the 2018/19 season

- The former United captain enjoyed an illustrious career at Old Trafford

- His home country president has rewarded him with a prestigious Presidential Award

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Former Manchester United captain, Antonio Valencia, has been awarded the prestigious National Order of Merit medal by Ecuador president, Lenin Moreno, in recognition of the winger's 10-year career with the Premier League giants.

Valencia ended his decade-long stay at Old Trafford on Sunday, May 12, after making 339 appearances in a United shirt since his arrival in 2009 from Wigan Athletic.

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The 33-year-old was gifted the award during a ceremony hosted at the presidential Carondelet Palace in Quito, with Moreno praising Valencia for representing his country with dignity.

"I've ended a wonderful period in Manchester, but now there's a difficult match ahead and I hope to play well, which is being a good father, and this is a commitment to my country's children and youth," Valencia was quoted saying after bowing out as United player.

The former Wigan star was the first Ecuadorian to make an appearance in the final of the Champions League in 2011 with the Red Devils, and the first to win the Europa League title in 2017.

He also won two Premier League titles, FA Cup and the League Cup twice.

Signed under legendary manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, Valencia managed to rise through the ranks to become United captain under Jose Mourinho.

He began his career as a right winger in 2003 at El Nacional in his homeland before moving to Villarreal in Spain two years later.

He later signed for Wigan in 2006 before securing a dream move to United three years after that.

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