Former Man Utd captain Valencia signs for LDU Quito

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Antonio Valencia Manchester United 2018-19
Having represented the Reds for a decade, Valencia is now gearing up for a new challenge in Ecuador, after his nation's Copa America campaign ended

Former Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia has returned to his home nation of Ecuador with Liga de Quito, who announced the winger's arrival on Friday.

Valencia, 33, was released on a free transfer by the Red Devils at the start of the summer transfer window

He subsequently left for Brazil, where he represented Ecuador at the 2019 Copa America. 

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And just days after the Tricolor were eliminated from the competition at the group stage, the veteran's next destination has been confirmed.

"One of the most celebrated players in Ecuadorian football history, Luis Antonio Valencia is a new Guerrero Albo," LDU Quito revealed on the club's official website. 

"The man who was captain of Manchester United at the start of the 2017-18 season and who said farewell with honours after a successful 10-year spell in the Premier League returns to Ecuadorian football as a living legend. 

"He comes to Liga on a two-year-contract with an option for a further years, a great effort from the Alba directors with the invaluable support of our sponsors who made this dream of the Alba family come true."

A native of Nueva Loja, Valencia in fact began his professional career with Liga's fierce Quito rivals El Nacional, for whom he made his senior debut in 2003 at the age of 18.

Following short spells in Spain with Recreativo and Villarreal, the winger landed in the Premier League with Wigan in August 2006, moving to Old Trafford three years later. 

In over a decade in United colours, Valencia went on to make more than 300 appearances, with his trophy haul including two Premier League titles and success in the FA Cup and Europa League. 

In 2018-19, however, he found himself on the margins at the club, playing just nine games in all competitions as the Red Devils disappointed under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.