Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia has been handed the famous number seven shirt by Sir Alex Ferguson.

The former-Wigan midfielder follows in the footsteps of previous United legends, including George Best, Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and Eric Cantona.

The Ecuador international has been rewarded for an excellent season last year, during which he won the United players' and fans' player of the year award.

On his official Twitter feed, Valencia said: "I humbly accept the historic number 7. Will do my best. Thanks to God, my family, ManUtd and all the fans for believing in me."

Manchester United's new signing Shinji Kagawa has taken the vacant number 26 jersey, and Nick Powell, the England under-19 international who joined the Red Devils from Crewe, will wear number 25.

Kagawa revealed he turned down the chance to wear the iconic seven shirt, preferring instead to make his name at Old Trafford in his own right, before taking on such a historic jersey.

Valencia arrived at Old Trafford from Wigan in 2009, and the pacey winger has become one of Ferguson's most consistent performers.

The Ecuadorian will get the chance to wear his new shirt on United's upcoming pre-season tour. The Red Devils will travel the globe this summer, taking in China, South Africa, Norway, Sweden and Germany as they prepare to mount a title challenge next year.

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