Manchester United's Antonio Valencia Takes Home Honors-A Fan's Take

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When it comes to quality football players, Manchester United has a long list of great names, as do many top level clubs. However, as ManUtd.com reports, after the dust settled at the team's awards ceremony on Monday May 14, Antonio Valencia came away with very big rewards. As the website says, Valencia took home the Sir Matt Busby Award as the fans' favorite player and also won the Manchester United Players' Player of the Year honor.

While Valencia was definitely on my list of three or four United players that I would put up for the Sir Matt Busby Award, I was pleasantly surprised that the players saw fit to grant him recognition on a great season as well. Antonio proved to be instrumental in the attack this year and menaced defenses in every match he appeared, often combining with Wayne Rooney as a major headache for opposing forces.

The fan vote was fairly close, as ManUtd.com put Valencia with 37 percent of the vote, Rooney with 24 percent, and Paul Scholes with 12 percent. Really, any of the three could have taken home the trophy with impressive campaigns, but Valencia is the best choice. He would also add a third award for Goal of the Season as well, which makes for a pretty good awards dinner night for anyone.

Manchester United had a bit of a disappointing season, both in domestic action and in European tournaments. While there were several bright moments for the team, the second place Barclays Premier League finish and being ousted from the Champions and Europa League play leaves an interesting take on what could have been a stellar year.

I like that the players rewarded Valencia as well, which means the team and the fans agreed on the great form he showed. The flashes of brilliance and tantalizing crosses were highlights from a great year. Of course, he and the rest of the squad will be looking to perform at a higher level in the coming year. The team will have to get it together to succeed in all competitions next year, but it looks like Valencia has assured himself of a spot in the lineup.

Jason Gallagher is a long-time Manchester United fan, following the performances of the Red Devils since the days of Eric Cantona and David Beckham.

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