Falcao rises to the level of Messi and Ronaldo
While Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo continue to defy normal standards and hog headlines with their astounding heroics in all competitions, one player has been quietly, but steadily rising up the ranks – Colombian Radamel Falcao, who plays for Atletico Madrid.
Nicknamed ‘El Tigre’, Falcao is easily one of the best players in the world today, along with Messi and Ronaldo.
Blessed with speed, agility and an eye for goal, Falcao marked his entry into Europe by joining Portuguese club Porto in 2009.
During his time at Porto, Falcao scored more than 70 goals in 87 games in all competitions, including a record 17 goals in 14 games during the 2010-2011 Europa League.
With top clubs making a beeline to poach the striker, Falcao eventually decided to join less-fancied Atletico Madrid in 2011 – and what a masterstroke it has proved to be for ‘Los Colchoneros’.
They finished in fifth place in the 2011-2012 season, with Falcao scoring an incredible 36 goals in all competitions.
It’s a foregone conclusion that the battle for La Liga will eventually become a two-horse race between Real Madrid and the mighty Barcelona, as has been the case for several years.
But thanks to fantastic performances by the Colombian again this season, Atletico Madrid has thrown a spanner in the works, having made a tremendous start to the 2012-13 campaign.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the team is on an unbeaten run of 20 games, having not lost a match in any competition since April of 2012. That’s a sign of a team on the rise.
As the league stands after eight games this season, Atletico are equal with Barcelona on 22 points.
While it may be premature to label them a potential title challenger, Falcao has played a significant role in making Atletico believe that they can win La Liga.
‘El Tigre’ has already netted 12 goals this season in all competitions, compared with Messi’s 15 and Ronaldo’s 16.
Manager Diego Simeone says that Falcao is “one of the best three players in the world today and [he's] got no reason to envy anybody”.
With a much more reliable defensive unit than in previous years, Atletico Madrid has started to combine brilliantly as a team, and they are giving other sides a run for their money.
Can ‘Los Colchenoros’ go on to win La Liga, or at least end the season as one of the top two teams in Spain? A lot depends on the form of Falcao.
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