Former Man United captain Antonio Valencia retires at 35

FILE - In this May 19, 2018 file photo, Manchester United's Antonio Valencia during the English FA Cup final soccer match with Chelsea at Wembley stadium in London, England. Valencia announced his retirement from professional football on May 12, 2021, citing problems in one of his knees. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, File)
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QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Former Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia announced his retirement Wednesday after a series of knee injuries.

The 35-year-year-old Valencia has been playing for Mexican club Queretaro but said he will move back to his native Ecuador after retiring.

“It is a tough decision because I feel well mentally, but there is something that is not well in my body, my knee. It is sad," Valencia said during a news conference. “I didn't think this moment would come so soon, but my body has asked me to make that decision.”

Valencia spent a decade at Man United from 2009-19, playing both as a right winger and right back and helping the team win two Premier League titles. He also won two League Cups, one FA Cup and one Europa League title.

He made 339 appearances for United, scoring 25 goals.

He also helped Ecuador qualify for the 2006 and 2014 World Cups and took part in four Copa America campaigns.

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