Valencia lifted by interest
Antonio Valencia says Man Utd's interest spurred him on to produce some of the best form of his life.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 16/07/09 4:59pm
Antonio Valencia believes Manchester United's interest in him spurred him on to produce some of the best form of his career last term.
The 23-year-old completed his move to Old Trafford last month for a £17million fee from Wigan after being linked with the Red Devils for more than a year.
The Ecuador star will no doubt draw comparisons with former United favourite Cristiano Ronaldo but Valencia has already distanced himself from such claims.
Despite raising his game last term the winger is all too aware that the really hard work is yet to begin, as he aims to soften the blow of losing the current Fifa World Player of the Year to Real Madrid.
"When a club that big shows an interest in you, it motivates you to really work hard," he said.
"That is what I did and I will continue to do so."
Unlike Ronaldo, Valencia seems happy to ply his trade in the cooler climate of the Premier League and insists he loves life in England.
"I love it here," he added.
"I love life in England and I love the football. When I was a kid I always dreamed of playing in a league that was this good.
"I am delighted to have the chance and so far the Premier League has been great for me."
United have confirmed that Valencia will not be a part of the club's pre-season tour to Asia, with the player set to stay at home along with Nemanja Vidic and fellow new arrival Gabriel Obertan.