Antonio Valencia has had the honour of Manchester United’s No 7 shirt bestowed upon him. Reported in the Independent,
Valencia said: “There is no extra pressure. 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.”
The shirt became available after the departure of Michael Owen at the end of the season. Valencia now joins a long line of club legends to have worn that shirt, all of who are contenders for the club’s best ever player. The list includes Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Eric Cantona and George Best amongst many others.
Whilst it is just a number on his back, the legend that comes with that number is something he will be faced with all season, constant comparisons to former greats are going to be leveled at him throughout the year.
But there are those that have no concerns about those links, one being Wayne Rooney. The English striker has said in the past that Valencia’s direct manner and his wing play is something to admire and praise.
Valencia – who won fans’ and players’ player of the season last year – will don the shirt in United’s first game of the season against Everton at Goodison Park.