Antonio Valencia's consistently solid performances at right-back for Manchester United during 2016/17 have earned him the Players' Player of the Year award.
The Ecuador international was the top pick among his team-mates in the dressing room after an impressive campaign in which he won three Player of the Month awards from fans voting on ManUtd.com. One of only five players to make at least 40 starts during the season, he captained the side in both legs of this month's Europa League semi-final against Celta Vigo and could be a key player in the Stockholm final.
On picking up the accolade at Thursday's awards ceremony, Valencia said: "It's all about working hard. I'm very grateful for the words of the manager, the support of the fans and obviously on this occasion the support of my team-mates. I'm very grateful to all of them, especially Marouane!"
The 2015/16 winner of the squad's own accolade, Chris Smalling, told MUTV he had voted for Antonio this year and explained the reasons why.
"I think Antonio has been so consistent, at times he's been our outlet, whether he's been playing at right-back or on the right wing," said Smalling. "He's been so dependable as well, not just in an attacking sense, but also when he's been defending. Any winger or striker that comes up against him has to get around him. That means they have to be stronger or quicker than him, and neither of those is easy!"
Valencia previously won the Players' Player of the Year award in 2011/12 when he was also voted the star man by the supporters and scooped the Goal of the Season prize.
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