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First Team

Get to Know: Joel Valencia

Winger becomes our sixth summer addition

1 August 2019

Here are ten things you might not know about our latest summer addition, winger Joel Valencia!

  • César Joel Valencia Castillo, better known as Joel Valencia, was born in Quinindé, Ecuador, on 16 November 1994
  • At the age of eight, he moved to Spain with his father, and was picked up by the Real Zaragoza Academy three years later.
  • By 2011, he had progressed into the club's reserves and was called into the first team squad on three occasions during the 2011–12 season. Valencia made his only senior appearance for the club as a substitute for Pablo Barrera late in a 6–0 La Liga defeat to Real Madrid in August 2011, aged just 16.
  • Over the following two years, Joel played exclusively for Zaragoza’s B team, making 33 appearances before joining Malaga B on loan in January 2014. There he made 18 appearances, netting once, as Malaga made the end of season Play-Offs.
  • The summer of 2014 saw Valencia end his nine-year association with Zaragoza, joining Unión Deportiva Logroñés in the Spanish Third Tier. He featured in 33 of Logroñés’ 38 league games as they qualified for the Promotion Play-Off, scoring once.
  • Another 19 appearances followed in the first-half of the next season before he headed to Slovenian top division side Koper in January 2016. He made 28 appearances over two seasons before moving on, this time to Poland and Piast Gliwice.
  • He made 26 appearances, scoring three goals, during his first season in Poland before playing a huge role in Gliwice’s first-ever Ekstraklasa’s title win last term.
  • Joel made 33 appearances, scoring six goals with just as many assists. That form saw him pick up the Ekstraklasa Player of the Year and Midfielder of the Year prize.
  • This season, he played both games in Champions League Qualifying against BATE Borisov and Gliwice’s 3-2 win over Riga in Europa League Qualifying.
  • Joel is a dual-international at Youth Level, representing both Spain and Ecuador at Under-17 age group. He was a part of the Ecuador squad which reached the Last 16 of the 2011 Under-17 World Cup, eventually going out to a Brazil side which included Lucas Piazon, Leo Bonatini, and Marquinhos.

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