Old Trafford says farewell to Valencia
Old Trafford said its farewells to Antonio Valencia as he played his final game for Manchester United in the clash with Cardiff City.
The club captain came on in the 73rd minute for Diogo Dalot to operate in his familiar right-back role, making his first outing since the win at Newcastle United early in the year.
It enabled the South American to enjoy the applause of the home supporters and, during the walk around the pitch at the end, he waved to the fans, who appreciate his decade of service to the Reds.
Valencia signed from Wigan Athletic in 2009 and won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups, three Community Shields and the Europa League.
He was the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year in 2011/12 and won the Players' Player of the Year in that same season and again in 2016/17, reflecting his popularity within the dressing room.
The defender leaves the club having amassed 277 starts, a further 61 outings as substitute and scored 25 goals.
“Finally, he has been able to put a few weeks of training in and he has looked sharp,
“ said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before the game on MUTV.
”He has been unfortunate with injuries towards the end of his career. He has been a fantastic servant to the club.
“He has been Player of the Year, he has won so many trophies. I am sure he will be sad and emotional because he has had such a great time here.”
Former team-mate Wes Brown also explained on the club channel that everybody wishes the Ecuador international well for the future, whatever that will bring for him.
“I was still here still when Antonio was here and he has been a great player,” said Brown.
“He moved from right-wing to the back and, let me tell you something, he gave everything for you in every game, 100 per cent. He would run all day.
”But your time comes. He has deserved everything he has got, he was won lots of medals and we will move on again. But he will always be remembered because he has done so well.