Xtra Time Web Desk: Equador captain Enner Valencia was undoubtedly the star of the opening match of FIFA World Cup 2022 against hosts Qatar. The former West Ham striker scored a brace and had a goal disallowed at the Al Bayt stadium on Sunday.
Born on November 4, 1989, Valencia currently plies his trade for Turkish Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe. Since making his debut in 2012, Valencia has earned more than 70 caps for Ecuador. He has already played for his country in FIFA World Cup 2014. This is his second World Cup. He has also represented Equador in Copa America 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2019. Enner is also the all-time leading scorer with 37 goals. He also holds the record for his nation’s most World Cup finals goals with five.
Valencia had to go through a lot of struggles during his early days as he hailed from a poor family. He had to sell milk to buy football boots. Valencia was in news when an arrest warrant was issued against him in Equador in October 2016 due to unpaid child support. But hard work and dedication saw him rise through the ashes of poverty.
Valencia played for Emelec in Ecuador, where he won the 2013 Ecuadorian Serie A. During his stay at Emelec, he won the Copa Suda Americana as well as winning the Golden Boot. He joined West Ham for an estimated amount of 12 million pounds in 2014.
He is the top scorer in the Turkish Super League, having scored fifteen goals in twelve games. He showed what he is capable of in his very first match of the FIFA world cup 2022. He scored two goals, in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup against the host nation Qatar.
Valencia scored the first goal in the sixteenth minute from a penalty kick after he was tripped inside the box by Qatar goalkeeper. He scored his second goal from a header off Angelo Preciado’s cross. He had to leave the field of play in the second half because of an injury.