Valencia loving life at Wigan
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Wigan's Luis Valencia has insisted he is settling in nicely to life in The Premiership.
Wigan midfielder Luis Valencia has insisted he is settling in nicely to life in The Premiership.
The Ecuador international was signed from Villarreal in the summer on a season-long loan after impressing Latics boss Paul Jewell during the World Cup.
Valencia maintains that he had always wanted to play in England, and was inspired as a boy by the exploits of former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane.
"I was told when I came to sign for Wigan that Paul Jewell had watched me in the World Cup and this just goes to show how things can evolve in life," the 21-year-old told the Manchester Evening News.
"I had gone back to Spain to begin pre-season training with Villarreal but was very excited when I found out about Wigan's interest because I knew The Premiership in England was such a great league to play in.
"That was when I remembered watching Roy Keane and I was interested to come and experience a new way of life again.
"I'd always followed The Premiership on TV in Spain and knew a little bit about Wigan from that.
"Everyone makes me feel welcome here in Wigan. In Villarreal we used to have eight Argentinian players in the dressing room who used to bully everyone into listening to their kind of music and I hated it.
"But at Wigan it seems really relaxed. I like the music and I'm happy."
Ecuador crashed out of the World Cup in the second round as a David Beckham free kick helped England to a 1-0 win in Stuttgart, but Valencia feels his side were unlucky to lose the game.
"To have had the honour of playing in a World Cup so early in my career was a real thrill because we were something of a surprise package," he reflected.
"We had a real chance to beat England and came so close.
"I think we matched England and we had some great opportunities but we contributed to our own downfall.
"Our manager told us not to give away any free kicks on the edge of the box as, when David Beckham is in the opposition team, that's dangerous.
"This was the case and overall we were disappointed because we felt we did enough to win even though we proved many doubters wrong who said we could only win at altitude."