Manchester United star Antonio Valencia has revealed he thought the Red Devils’ interest in him was ‘a laugh and a joke’ when Sir Alex Ferguson approached Wigan in 2009.
Valencia had been in England for 3 years with Wigan before United signed him. And now, the Ecuadorian has spoken to MUTV ahead of United’s clash with Wigan in the FA Cup, revealing how at the time, he thought manager Steve Bruce was joking about Alex Ferguson’s interest in his services.
“I remember Steve Bruce told me that United were interested in me but I really didn’t believe him as he was always having a laugh and a joke with me. ‘No, seriously, they are very interested in you,'” Valencia revealed.
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“A couple of days before the deal was officially announced, I met with Sir Alex and, when I looked into the eyes of the manager right in front of me, I could tell that he was serious about signing me, and he gave me his word and told me everything would be sorted out.”
Valencia was an out and out winger for Wigan, and was signed for the same role at Old Trafford. He has since turned into a wonderful right back, making the position his own. Solid as a defender, and making typical bombing runs forward, Valencia is probably the first name on United’s team sheet.
He further told MUTV that he thought joining United was an incredible moment, and he was elated.
“That was an incredible moment and that evening I didn’t know whether to cry or shout or what to do. I rang my family in Ecuador and we chatted and they didn’t believe me either! But thankfully it all went ahead and I joined United.”
Valencia has since gone on to establish himself at Old Trafford, and is closing in on 300 Premier League appearances for United. The flier has won two Premier League titles, a League Cup and an FA Cup with the Red Devils.