Stood with his arms folded, Antonio Valencia poses for a photo at the Aon Training Complex

Valencia reveals his new United ink on Instagram

There are only a few Manchester United players who have captained the club in successful European cup finals.

Bobby Charlton was the first when raising the 1968 European Cup and Bryan Robson was second with the 1991 Cup Winners’ Cup. Peter Schmeichel’s gloved hands grasped the Champions League trophy in 1999, followed by Rio Ferdinand in 2008.

Antonio Valencia joined this select band when he captained United for the majority of the 2017 Europa League final, before graciously passing the armband to substitute Wayne Rooney in the closing stages. 

That night in Stockholm is a highlight of Tony V's Reds career and the experience of lifting the trophy will stay with him forever, now in more ways than one: to the delight of United fans, our former captain has revealed an incredible new tattoo on his lower leg that permanently captures his iconic moment in ink.

The impressive marking is scrawled across his left calf and includes tremendous detail, showing the vibrant colours of his blue kit, red club crest and the Ecuador flag wrapped around his hands. Take a look…
Antonio Valencia shared this image of his new tattoo via his official instagram account.

COUNTDOWN TO GDANSK

With the Reds currently preparing for a Europa League final against Villarreal next Wednesday, we will hopefully add a new name to the list of captains to lift a European trophy. But who could it be?

Harry Maguire is facing a race against time to win his fitness battle, after missing our last two Premier League matches with an injury sustained against Aston Villa. 

If the permanent skipper does not recover in time then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a list of outstanding candidates for the job, with Bruno Fernandes arguably at the front of the queue after leading the side in Maguire's absence. 

The likes of David De Gea, Axel Tuanzebe, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford have also worn the armband in the past.

FAREWELL TO UNITED

In case you missed it, Valencia announced his retirement from football last week with an emotional letter that he posted to followers on social media, directing these words specifically to United fans:

“At the age of 14, as a child, I left my family, my village and 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. 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 the fans of all the countries where I have played. I always tried to give my best. Thank you for your affection and support.”

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