Leonardo Valencia is a versatile attacking midfielder who can play down the flanks, in the hole behind the centre-forward or in a roaming role, which enables him to pop up in scoring positions. He impressed in Chile’s China Cup triumph in January, doing enough to convince La Roja coach Juan Antonio Pizzi to take him to the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 to gain experience. Pizzi first brought Valencia into the national team fold in September 2016, giving him his debut against Ecuador in a Russia 2018 qualifier.
Valencia came up through the youth ranks at Universidad de Chile but made his first division debut on loan at Deportes Melipilla in 2008. He then impressed at Union La Calera, though it was not until he moved to Palestino that he began to establish himself at the highest level. After returning to U. de Chile to win two titles, he was released by them in 2012, a decision that caused him to contemplate retiring from the game. On heading back to Palestino, however, he began producing the form that has taken him to the national team.