Falcao has taken world football by storm lately. Here we have a glimpse into his life as we try to discover how he has become one of the biggest
A – Atletico Madrid.
Falcao is currently applying his trade at Spanish club Atletico Madrid, and in some style. The striker has an incredible 42 goals in just 53 games for his side since joining in 2011.
B – Bogota
Bogota is the Capital of Falcao’s country Colombia, and the man himself actually moved to the City whilst still very young. Bogota has a population of roughly 7.4m people.
C – Colombia
Falcao was born in Santa Marta, Colombia. His natural ability in front of goal earned him a call up to the Colombian national side, where he has scored 13 goals in 39 appearances. The latest of Falcao’s goals came in Tuesday night’s (11/09/12) 3-1 victory over Chile in the World Cup Qualifiers.
D – Dream Team
Falcao is the ultimate ‘fantasy football’ player. An individual that scores an infinite amount of goals, along with umpteen assists; if Falcao trades La Liga for the Premier League in January as reports suggest, then I can assure you that he will be straight in my team, to partner Carlos Tevez.
E – El Tigre
El Tigre (The Tiger) is the nickname given to Falcao by Atletico fans because of his robust playing style and his sheer strength, as well as the way he is able to pounce on a ball in front of goal
F – Father
Falcao’s father named his son after his all time favourite football player; Paulo Roberto Falcao. His dad was also a professional football player who managed to play for Colombia, and was a passionate fan of local side Independiente Santa Fe (where Paulo Roberto Falcao once played).
G – Goals
Goals are what Falcao is now renowned for all over the world. In 250 games for his respective clubs, he has smashed in 163 goals. This equates to 1 goal in every 1.5 games. His international goal scoring record breaks down to 1 goal in every 3 games.
H – Hat tricks
Falcao has scored a huge amount of hat tricks during his playing career, each one more impressive than the last. He recently became the first player ever to score a hat trick in a Uefa Super Cup game, in Atletico’s victory over Chelsea, however, his habit of scoring trebles started way back in his days in Argentina. His first triple was for Riverplate against Botafogo back in 2007 to secure his team a place in the quarter-finals of the Copa Sudamericana. His first hat trick in Europe came when he thundered 3 goals for Porto in a Europa League tie against Austrian club Rapid Wien and his second came just 5 months later in the quarter-final of the same competition, this time against Russian opposition in the shape of Spartak Moscow. After Falcao’s move to Spain, it didn’t take long for the striker to find his shooting boots, scoring thrice in a league game against Racing Santander, and again soon after in a fixture against Real Sociedad. His most recent league hat trick (and his hat trick of Atletico hat tricks, if you like) came in the opening weeks of the new season against recent Europa League finalists Athletic Bilbao.
I – Inzaghi
On many occasion, Falcao has listed Filippo Inzaghi as his main source of inspiration.
"Inzaghi is a striker who I have always admired, for both his sharpness and instinct in scoring goals. He has inspired me with his playing style."
That could explain the goal-poaching attitude that Falcao possesses and also the hair/hair band combination!
J – Journalism
While Falcao was playing in Argentina, he took up a course at Buenos Aires University studying Journalism. He is said to have a keen passion for writing and when asked what he would be doing if he hadn’t made it as a professional football player, he answered that his wish as a child was to be a journalist.
K – Killer Instinct
Falcao has a real natural ability to forecast where the ball is going to be in the opponent’s penalty area. His instinct in the box has lead to him scoring a colossal number of goals, and is one of his most important attributes.
L – Leader
Not only is Falcao a leader on the pitch, but away from football he is head of a church youth group named Locos por Jesus. The goal-gobbler is a devout Christian.
M – Mop-top
Falcao’s hair is talked about almost as much as his performances on the pitch. The long black hair of the Colombian is usually accompanied by a hair-band which makes him instantly recognisable from the rest of the players.
N – Nimble
Although Falcao has a torso similar to that of the incredible hulk, he continues to amaze people with his nimble dexterity. The way he leaves his man-marker not knowing which day of the week it is with his brisk movement, whilst he is already tucking the ball past a helpless goalkeeper, can only be described as majestic.
Falcao has a knack of being in the right place at the right time and also scoring big goals at important times. Whether or not this is down to footballing intelligence or simply being fortunate, Falcao is always ready to take advantage of a mistake made from a defending opponent.
P – Porto
Falcao sealed a move to Portuguese goliaths Porto in the summer of 2009, in a deal worth an estimated €4m. He made an instant impact, scoring 4 goals in his first 4 games including a superb effort on his debut against Pacos de Ferreira. By the time he had left, he had netted a truly remarkable 72 goals in 87 games.
Q – Quick
Not only does Radamel Falcao astound people with his strength and agility, but he boasts a rapid speed that would challenge any football player over a 200 yard race. That would be worth a watch, wouldn’t it?
R – River Plate
River Plate was where it all started for Falcao. At just 15 years of age, he joined their prestigious youth academy which paved his way into the first team. At the age of 19, Falcao made his debut and went on to score 7 goals in his first 7 games. Despite a string of serious injuries, the forward bagged 49 goals in 110 games. Not bad for your first stint in football, eh?
S – Speculation
Ever since El Tigre exploded onto the scene, he has been rumoured with a big money move to the Premier League. First it was Spurs who were linked with an ambitious attempt to lure him to England, but more recently Chelsea, who have been after the 26 year old for a number of years. As his goal tally increases so does his value, and judging by the amount of times his name is on the score sheet for both club and country, I wonder if anybody will actually be able to afford the fee that Atletico will be holding out for.
T – Technique
The technical facility this man holds is breathtaking. The perfect first touch, close control and the competence to score either from 40 yards, or just 4 yards. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discussing his intelligence on the ball.
Falcao smashed the record number of goals ever scored in a single annual club European competition campaign, when he helped himself to 17 goals in both the Uefa Champions League and Uefa Europa League in the 2010-11 season. The previous holder was Jurgen Klinsmann with 15 goals.
If Falcao does dip his toes into the Premier League, I’m guessing whichever club it is who is lucky enough, will have to be willing to spend a ridiculous amount of money. Falcao arrived at Atletico for a hefty €40m from Porto, and scored 36 goals in his debut season. There have been reports that if a club wants to try and gain the signature of one of Europe’s hottest assets, then it will cost them close to the €65m mark.
W – Winner
During his 7 year career, Falcao has got his hands on 2 Portuguese Super Cups, 2 Taca de Portugal trophies, 2 Europa Leagues, an Argentine Primera Division medal and a Uefa Super Cup.
X – X-Factor
No, not the TV programme. The definition of X-factor reads: ‘A hard-to-describe influence or quality’. This certainly describes Falcao to a tee. I could go on all day about Falcao’s ability and technique, and you would still not fully understand how highly I rate the man. Think of the impact his goals and assists had on Atletico’s success last campaign, and you begin to appreciate just how talented the Colombian is.
Y – Youthful
In addition to his outlandish wealth of talent on the field, the Colombian front-man has also struck up quite a large female fan base. The man who turns 27 early next year has quite a distinctive baby face, and admirers tend to suggest he looks at least 5 or 6 years younger than he actually is.
Z – Zarate
Falcao is actually the Colombian’s middle name. His full name is Radamel Falcao Garcia Zarate.