Valencia scored our opening goal in our vital 2-0 victory over Blackburn this week and celebrated wildly, something very out of character for our Ecuadorian. He later dedicated his goal to Dragan Miranovic who gave Valencia his big break when he was at El Nacional at the start of his career, who sadly died of a heart attack.
“Dragan, this goal is for you, thanks for your advice and your teaching,” he said. “How sad to learn of the death of Dragan, the distance you send my condolences to his family and friends, sad day for football. Tonight is very sad for me by the death of Dragan, the person who gave me continuity in football and for his great advice.”
Valencia was given his nickname, Tono Maravilla, which means ‘The Marvel Tono’, by Orlando Narvaez, another coach at El Nacional. This was the coach who also gave former Birmingham striker Christian Benitez his nickname ‘Chucho’.
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The Republik of Mancunia has brought out a brilliant downloadable World Cup preview. It contains 20 articles written by football experts on the countries our players will be representing in Brazil. There is also exclusive content from this country's top football journalists, such as Sid Lowe, Martin Lipton, Sam Wallace and Dominic Fifield. All profit is going to charity. More info on the RoM World Cup preview can be found here.
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