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Valencia opens up on allegedly being dropped by Mourinho over Instagram sack post

Valencia opens up on allegedly being dropped by Mourinho over Instagram sack post

The former Manchester United captain has spoken about the incident during the former manager's troubled final season at Old Trafford.

Former Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia has sought to clear up rumours that he was dropped by manager Jose Mourinho after liking an Instagram post calling for his boss to be sacked.

With United struggling under Mourinho in October last year, the Ecuador international liked a post which described watching United under him as “a punishment”, and said he should be sacked.

Valencia apologised at the time but was dropped soon after – though he says he had liked the post by accident, and that Mourinho accepted his apology immediately.

“OK, let’s clear it up,” he told the Athletic.

“I made a mistake. I was on Instagram and I pressed the ‘like’ button on a comment by a fan. I never realised what it said. Jose is a smart guy. It was nothing. I sought the manager out, I said sorry and end of the story.

“He said, ‘No problem’. I didn’t play in the last few games for Jose but it was nothing to do with that. It was a different reason. I had a series of calf injuries and it was affecting my performances. That’s why I was missing.”

Valencia played under Mourinho for around two-and-a-half years at Old Trafford, and it was under the new Tottenham boss that he first wore the captain’s armband.

Mourinho appears to be trying to change the overriding perception of him in an early charm offensive at Spurs, but Valencia has spoken hugely positively of his former manager anyway.

“Jose is more relaxed than he appears,” he said. “When we worked, we worked bloody hard. And when we lost, he was hard on us too.

“But he had a good mentality. When we won, he wanted us to win the next game too. This mattered to him. That’s what winners do, right?

“He was good with days off but he wanted us to be sensible, to cleanse the mind on a day off and return completely fresh for the next training session. This is why he has won so much.

“When he praises you, he can make you feel so special. When he arrived, I was expecting exactly what happened: to win titles.

“This is what we did, two in his first season. He is a winner; he knows what he wants and that came across.”

Following his free-transfer exit from United after ten years at the club this summer, Valencia is now playing back in his native Ecuador, with LDU Quito.

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