Antonio Valencia Inherits Famed Man United No 7 Shirt


Antonio Valencia, Manchester United No. 7

Antonio Valencia Inherits Famed Man United No 7 Shirt

Prior to Owen, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham wore it. Other famous wearers have included Eric Cantona, Bryan Robson and George Best.

A £16 million signing from Wigan in 2009, Valencia is delighted and believes he will live up to the history of the shirt.

”There is no extra pressure,” he said. ”The club asked me if I would like to wear the No 7 shirt and I said I would be delighted.

”I am excited to wear it and want to enjoy it, but really I just want to continue improving my own game.”

United superstar, Wayne Rooney, has spoken highly of Valencia’s wing play.

”We all know Rooney,” he said. ”He can do amazing things and doesn’t just wait for me to assist him.

”There are other good players and he can do it on his own. He is looking good.”

Man Utd came in second on the Premiership table last season after having an eight-point advantage over the final six games of last season. One of the first things United manager Sir Alex Ferguson did when his side landed in South Africa for the first part of their extended pre-season series was to declare the Premier League ”priority number one”.

The arrival of Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa seems aimed at giving United additional creativity and Ferguson has the combative spirit to meet any challenge head-on.

”I don’t feel it was such a bad season but when you look at it, we lost the league because at one point we were eight points in front,” said Valencia. ”Even then we only lost out by a few goals.

”It is always very tricky in football. You never know what is going to happen because all these other big teams; Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, have the same aim.

Valencia does not speak English after six years in England. Carlos Tévez has been repeatedly condemned for failing to grasp a decent command of English. Yet Valencia insists it is not a worry, especially in one important area.

”It is a little difficult but I can communicate with my team-mates,” he said.

”And I can also understand when the manager shouts.”

Watch Antonio Valencia play live at Manchester United this campaign.

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