Following a poor upbringing, Antonio Valencia began his youth career at El Nacional in 2001 before eventually breaking into their first team in 2003. He earned a move to Spanish club Villarreal in 2005 but was loaned to Recreativo for most of the 2005/06 campaign where he helped them gain promotion. Valencia has become one of United's key players since joining in 2009.
At the beginning of the 2006/07 campaign, Valencia joined Wigan Athletic on loan. He made a good impact early on and extended the loan for a further season before committing to the club on a permanent basis in January 2008 on a three and a half year deal. After a fantastic 2008/09 season, Valencia was rumoured with a move to a bigger club and in June 2009, he moved to Manchester United as Cristiano RonaldoÃƒâ€š's replacement on a four year deal. To date, he has yet to shine in United colours but he will hope to adapt to his new surroundings over the course of the season.
The winger has enjoyed a successful international career since his debut in 2005 against Paraguay. He played in the 2006 World Cup and impressed in leading Ecuador through to the knock out stages.
After the tournament, he was chosen as a nominee for FIFAÃƒâ€š's team of the tournament and was shortlisted as one of six players to win the Gillette Young Player of the Year. He is currently involved in a battle to secure the fourth automatic qualification spot in the South American World Cup Qualifiers.