Rio has high hopes for Valencia

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Football News

Rio Ferdinand believes Antonio Valencia is destined to become a big star at Manchester United.

The 24-year-old Ecuador international, signed in a £16million deal from Wigan in the summer, is starting to settle into life at Old Trafford after a slow start to his United career and grabbed a late winner against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

"I think everyone is very pleased with what Antonio has done," said Ferdinand. "He's playing very well and I'm sure he will keep improving and keep scoring goals."

He added: "He's a really humble and quiet lad. He comes in, does his work and goes home.

"He is from the Paul Scholes mould of embracing hype and attention but he's the most confident guy on the football field and he's been very impressive since he arrived.

"He is always available, always backing himself on the ball and doesn't mind a bit of contact. He is a strong lad and that's what you want."

Ferdinand watched Valencia's winning goal from the bench after being withdrawn just before the hour mark at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Having already travelled to Russia without Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher, Patrice Evra and Park Ji-Sung, manager Sir Alex Ferguson was taking no risks ahead of Sunday's clash with Liverpool.

At 0-0, United were fairly comfortable in the game and a draw would still have left them in a dominant position in Group B. As it transpired, the 1-0 victory maintained their 100% record in the competition and took them five points clear of nearest challengers Wolfsburg.

"It's gone according to plan so far," said Ferdinand. "We've been here in the group stages before when we've scraped through in the last game, so it's nice to get the nine points on the board and be in a very commanding position."

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Ryan Giggs
European News
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Patrice Evra
Darren Fletcher
Paul Scholes
Wayne Rooney
Wigan Athletic
Antonio Valencia
Ji-Sung Park
Rio Ferdinand

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