Radamel Falcao: Player Profile

The Hopes Of A Nation Resting On Falcao

Personal information
Full name: Radamel Falcao Garcia Zarate
Date of birth: 10 February 1986
Age: 28
Place of birth: Santa Marta, Colombia
Height: 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position: Striker

Club information
Current club: Monaco
Number: 9

Youth career 
2001–2005: River Plate

Senior career
1999–2000: Lanceros Boyaca 8 Appearances, 1 goal
2005–2009: River Plate 105 Appearances, 45 goals
2009–2011: Porto 87 Appearances, 72 goals
2011–2013: Atletico Madrid 91 Appearances, 70 goals
2013– Monaco 19 Appearances, 11 goals

National team 
2005–2007: Colombia U20 3 Appearances, 2 goals
2007– Colombia 51 Appearances, 20 goals

Radamel Falcao, Colombia's biggest hope for the World Cup, but also just returning from injury, will join their squad in Buenos Aires in preparation for the tournament in Brazil.

That ended rumours that the striker was set to travel to Bogota to announce that he would not be going to Brazil, having failed to fully recover from knee ligament surgery.

At present, the forward is continuing with his physical work at his club Monaco. The 28-year-old, who scored nine goals in 13 matches as Colombia finished second to Argentina in the South American qualifying group, damaged knee ligaments playing for Monaco in a French Cup tie in January.

The final decision on whether or not he will go to the finals, Colombia's first in 16 years, will be made by June 2, the date when the team's Argentine coach Jose Pekerman has to name his 23-man squad.

Colombia, who travel to Argentina next week, will play warm-up friendlies against Senegal on May 31 and Jordan on June 6 in Buenos Aires, Pekerman's home city, before travelling to Brazil.

They face Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan, in that order, in Group C at the tournament starting on June 12.
Radamel Falcao is best known for his staggering goals total in the 2010/11 Europa League.

His tally of 17 surpassed Jurgen Klinsmann's previous record of 15 in European competition, set in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup with Bayern Munich. An excellent header of the ball, and deadly finisher on the ground, the Colombian is rated one of the best strikers in the world.

After catching the eye in youth soccer in Bogota, "El Tigre" (The Tiger) was offered a trial by Argentinean giants River Plate and impressed.

Being only 14, he found life hard in a big city far away from his family but persistence paid off and he made his debut at the age of 20, scoring two goals in his first start.

Falcao was scoring with regularity until sustaining a serious knee injury in 2006. He returned to form and fitness in 2007, scoring a hat-trick against Botafogo and bagging his first goal against fierce rivals Boca Juniors.

His goals helped River to the 2008 Clausura title, and he resided at the top of the club’s goalscoring charts before Porto came calling in July 2009.

Falcao hit the ground running in Portugal after a 3.93 million Euro move, and finished his first season as the league’s second top scorer with 25 goals.

A goal in the cup final win over Grupo Desportivo Chaves meant he finished the campaign with 34 goals in all competitions.

The following season, as Porto swept all before them, Falcao was less prolific in the league, instead saving his best for the Europa League and setting that incredible record.

Falcao was a prominent figure as the club won the League, Cup and Europa League treble until Atletico Madrid swooped to sign him from Porto in August 2011 for a fee of 40 million Euros.

The striker also excelled after moving to La Liga. Twelve goals helped his side win their second Europa League title in three years and he also hit the ground running in the league, netting 24 times in just 33 starts to quickly become one of the most feared strikers in Spain and prove that he could operate in one of the best leagues in the world.

He spent two years at Atletico, scoring 70 goals in just 91 appearances before moving to Monaco at the end of the 2012/13 season for an estimated 60 million Euros.

Falcao was having yet another great season with the Ligue 1 giants, scoring 11 goals in 19 matches before his fatal knee injury back in January.

Falcao has been described as one of the most "natural goal scorers" in the world. His ability to adapt to most positions and score goals with various parts of his body make him lethal.

Described as a 'poacher', Falcao is often labelled as a 'pure striker' often playing as a traditional 'number 9', capitalizing on less amount of chances that are given to him than the typical goal scorer.

His footing and curves are highly noticeable through his games regardless of distance and/or positions. Falcao is well known for having a strong weak foot (left) that is on equals with his right foot (preference) allowing him to be flexible with goal scoring.

Falcao controls a well balance pace keeping his stamina in check and allowing him to often out run other players in the most critical moments in obtaining the ball.

The strength of his shots is often well controlled, in terms of distance and angles, as shown throughout his career.

While Falcao is only of average height, his header technique has given him an edge in aerial battles for balls.

Falcao's talents have been recognized by football players former and current, perhaps most notably by former FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, who described him as "sensational" and as one of the most talented in the world.