Valencia: Goal for Benitez

Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia has dedicated his goal against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday to Christian Benitez.

Last Updated: 20/09/13 at 21:49 Post Comment

Valencia's goal celebration in memory of 'Chucho'

Valencia's goal celebration in memory of 'Chucho'

Former Birmingham striker Benitez collapsed and died of heart failure at the age of 27, shortly after making his debut for Qatari side El Jaish in July.

The news shook all of Ecuador, including Valencia, who has also had a tattoo on his arm in tribute to 'Chucho'.

"It is terrible that he passed away," Valencia told MUTV. "He wasn't just a friend but a brother to me.

"I dedicated the tattoo and the goal celebration, and hopefully every other goal celebration, to him.

"We all loved him and it had a huge effect on the whole country.

"He was a top guy. He was humble and worked very hard to provide for him family. He was good fun to be around.

"It was unbelievable news to hear that at 27, he is going about life normally, then the next thing you see is that he has passed away."

After scoring just once last season, Valencia has been challenged to get "seven or eight" by manager David Moyes, which would represent his highest total since joining United in 2009.

"I actually said to him 'you should be getting yourself seven or eight goals a season regularly'," said Moyes.

"Antonio looked at me and squinted a bit.

"He only scored one last season but he's got off to a good start and hopefully he'll get close to the target I'd like him to get this year."

The former Wigan man feels he has a better chance of achieving that feat wearing the 25 shirt, which he has reverted back to after passing up the coveted number seven jersey in the summer.

"It is something I have been considering for a while," said Valencia.

"Maybe it is psychological or just a good luck symbol. In Ecuador we have things that bring us good luck.

"It turned out to be a very good number for me when I first arrived at the club.

"Hopefully I can regain the form I showed before."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e might be on a hiding to nothing, but I cannae feel any sympathy- You want to know why? Shakira. That's why.

hairpolice
Pique Taking Blame Burden Again...

A

nd this season must feel like one long sigh at the Emirates . Yep, exactly that. Except for Alexis Sanchez, he's ace.

cheshire-gooner
Is Mario Balotelli's Talent Even That 'Obvious'?

H

ey! At least put our first clean sheet in a gazillion years in the winners section. Curse you F365 *shakes fist*

fouloleron
Is Mario Balotelli's Talent Even That 'Obvious'?

Footer 365

Championship Chat: Owner hurting Leeds

James Dixon calls for Leeds owner Massimo Cellino to stop interfering in the club and also blasts the heads of Birmingham and Blackpool.

Transfer News: Hull's Tom Ince joins Nottingham Forest on loan until December 28

Nottingham Forest have signed Tom Ince on loan from Hull City on a deal until December 28.

Blackpool confirm appointment of Lee Clark as manager on rolling contract

Lee Clark has been confirmed as the new manager of Championship club Blackpool on a one-year rolling contract.

Mail Box

Wenger Kept His Pride By Turning Down Cesc

What message would it have sent if Wenger had allowed those that walked out to stroll back in? Plus, why Pochettino needs to adapt and the folly of limiting yourself...

You Can't Laud Rodgers But Lambast AVB

If Rodgers is praised despite Suarez, you can't say AVB only did well through Bale. Plus, a lot more of 2Players1Name, and why Tom Huddlestone set a trend...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property