Antonio Valencia extends Man United contract after fantastic season

Antonio Valencia extends Man United contract after fantastic season

The 31-year-old has enjoyed a renaissance at right-back and has been rewarded with another contract extension, just six months after his last one. With an option for a further year, this extension carries until June 2019.

Harry Robinson

It is symbolic of the regard in which he is held by Manchester United manager José Mourinho that Antonio Valencia has been handed a contract extension just six months after having signed a new deal.

The club announced the news on Friday, two days after Valencia was captain for the majority of the UEFA Europa League final, which Man United won 2-0 to lift a third trophy of the season. On being captain, the 31-year-old admitted that "it was a true honour."

Valencia extends to 2019

That victory against Ajax completed the trophy set for United, having now won every trophy in the game at the elite level. Valencia has played a key part in a number of those trophies since joining the club in 2009, and was delighted to extend his contract until June 2019.

After that, there'll be an option to extend for a further year. Even if Valencia simply sees out this current contract, he'll complete a decade at Manchester United. 

The Ecuadorian said he that "Manchester United have been my life since 2009, and I am absolutely delighted to have signed a new contract."

"Wednesday evening provided the one trophy this club had never won. I would like to thank the Manager for the confidence he has given me this season and I am sure that we will be challenging on all fronts next season. I would also like to say a big thank you to my family, my team-mates and, of course, the fans, for their amazing support."

Valencia signed for United in 2009 as a right-winger, and was excellent for a time. But under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, he struggled to match those heights he reached immediately after joining from Wigan Athletic. It often didn't look anywhere near possible that Valencia could play for the best of a decade at Old Trafford. But he's enjoyed a renaissance at right-back, becoming one of the best in the league and one of United's players of the season.

Mourinho: Valencia is a "good player" and a "great person"

His manager José Mourinho said that before he came to the club he "knew what a fantastic player [Valencia] was, and he has not disappointed me on that front." 

"However, what I could never have imagined was what a great person he is. I know I have said this before but I truly believe it is a real privilege for us to have such a good player and such a good man. I am delighted he has extended his contract."

The hope for Valencia now is that he'll be adding to an already incredible trophy haul as Mourinho looks to steer United back to the Premier League title. He's won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups, the UEFA Europa League and three Community Shields. Three of those trophies have come this season.