Who is Enner Valencia? Know the Ecuadorian footballer

Ecuador national football team captain Enner Valencia has been the driving force behind the national team’s success in recent years and the veteran striker recently etched his name in the history books by scoring the first goal for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

Enner Valencia’s brace in the opener against hosts Qatar helped his team to a 2-0 win. After having his first header disallowed by VAR due to offside in the build-up, the 33-year-old striker converted a penalty, which he won himself, in the 16th minute to register the first FIFA World Cup goal. 2022. He doubled his score 15 minutes later.

The two goals also made Enner Valencia Ecuador the FIFA World Cup top scorer with five goals in just four matches. Incidentally, he scored all three goals for Ecuador at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, their last appearance in football’s biggest event.

Enner Valencia also scored four times in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Ecuador and helped them claim the fourth and final direct World Cup berth, behind Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. , from South America.

The striker is already Ecuador’s all-time top scorer with 37 goals and has been the Ecuadorian national team’s talisman since former Manchester United star Antonio Valencia retired from international duty.

Where does Enner Valencia come from?

Enner Valencia was born on November 4, 1989 in the coastal town of San Lorenzo in Ecuador. He came from a farming community and sold farm milk on the street to help his family’s finances.

Poverty and the hardships associated with it, however, never stopped Enner Valencia from dreaming of becoming a footballer, like many South American soccer stars.

“It’s just my love of football that kept me going,” Enner Valencia told the Daily mail website. “I was always with a ball, or with a bottle, or with whatever we came across, always trying to get a game started.”

Despite the odds against him, Enner Valencia developed his skills by getting extra yards on the court.

“Many times I left school to play. I told my parents I was going to school but I never got there. I went to play football. I always been passionate about this game,” admitted Enner Valencia.

Enner Valencia breakthrough

Enner Valencia finally found a breakthrough at the age of 15 when he was scouted by Caribe Junior football club in Lago Agrio.

“I always liked to play. Then one day a manager of a club from the east of the country came to my town and saw me playing,” said Enner Valencia. Independent in an interview.

“He said he wanted to sign me for Caribe Junior, at Lago Agrio – the town Manchester United star Antonio Valencia is from – and I spoke with my parents and decided yes, I would go,” revealed Enner Valencia.

Enner Valencia was part of the Caribe Junior youth system until 2008, then moved to Oriente before moving to Emilec football club when he was 20 years old.

The international debut of Enner Valencia

Enner Valencia played for the Ecuadorian national under-22 team at the 2011 Pan American Games and made his senior debut in 2012 against Honduras in an international friendly match.

Although he couldn’t get on the team sheet in 2012, his first senior international goal came against the same team during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign in 2013. in the Ecuadorian squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

On their World Cup debut in Brazil, Enner Valencia gave Ecuador the lead against Switzerland with a first-half header, but the European team’s second-half goals doomed Ecuador to a 2-1 loss.

Valencia led Ecuador’s fightback in the second group game against Honduras scoring a brace and leading them to a famous win. However, a goalless draw against European heavyweights France saw them make a heartbreaking exit in the group stage.

Although Enner Valencia failed to lead the Ecuadorian side to the knockout stage, their scintillating performances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup caught the attention of English Premier League club West Ham United. .

In October 2021, Valencia scored their 32nd international goal against Bolivia in a FIFA World Cup qualifier to overtake Agustín Delgado as Ecuador’s all-time top scorer.

Enner Valencia spent three years in the English Premier League between 2014 and 2017. He then joined Mexico’s Tigres UANL and currently plays for Turkish Super League side Fenerbahce.

Records and Achievements of Enner Valencia

  • Ecuador’s all-time top scorer with 37 international goals

  • Ecuador’s top scorer at FIFA World Cups with five goals (as of 20 November 2022)

  • Scored the opening goal of the 2022 FIFA World Cup against hosts Qatar in the opening game.

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