Any player of note knows it takes more than just talent to be the best at what you do. For Ecuador and Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia, his game is boosted by his pace, trickery and power.
Valencia is surely the star power in Ecuador’s World Cup squad, as a result, he shoulders the hopes of many Ecuadorians.
This is a player who, plying his trade for Villarreal in 2006, saw his on-field antics earn him nomination for the FIFA Best Young Player honours.
His burst of pace is something that catches any coach and soccer fanatic’s eye. And it his displays that saw him make a move to Old Trafford in 2009, joining Manchester United after turning down an offer to join Real Madrid.
In his third season at Man-U, his contribution to the Red Devils saw him make a clean sweep at the club’s end-season awards, scooping the Fans’ Player of the Year Award, the Players’ Player of the Year award as well as the Goal of the Season honours.
Valencia is among the most sought-after wingers in the game, and his presence in Brazil could be a revelation for Ecuador.
– By Tshepo Tsheole