Falcao: I want to stay at Monaco

The Colombia international has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer but insists he believes in “the project” at Stade Louis II


Radamel Falcao has made it clear that he is not thinking about leaving Monaco this summer, amid interest from Real Madrid.

The Colombia international was linked with the Santiago Bernabeu side during his time at Atletico Madrid, but he ultimately joined Monaco in the summer of 2013.

Madrid remain keen to lure Falcao back to La Liga, but the 28-year-old insists he is focused on a return to the Champions League with his current club in the 2014-15 campaign.

“I believe in Monaco’s project. I want to stay here and play Champions League football with Monaco,” the striker said at a press conference.

Falcao also believes Monaco will further strengthen the squad this summer in order to compete with Europe’s elite once again.

“We will strengthen the team in order to be ready for the Champions League,” he added.

Monaco last featured in the Champions League in 2005-06, when they were eliminated by Betis in the third qualification round.

Messi, Neymar, James and Suarez – Copa America 2015 will be the best ever

The continent boasts four of world football’s most prominent stars and that quartet look set to shine in a star-studded tournament next summer


While many remain in something of a post-World Cup daze, turning their attentions to transfer season in an attempt to battle the comedown of Brazil 2014, 10 Conmebol nations and a couple of special guests are already looking ahead to the next major international competition.

Chile 2015 could well be the greatest of the Copa America’s long and illustrious history. Even if guests Mexico once again decide to play an experimental side – leaving sponsorship dollars as their only real contribution to the tournament – and Jamaica find themselves outclassed, the remaining 10 South American nations are as competitive as ever.

Brazil and Argentina are once again set to enter the tournament in a state of transition and aren’t certainties to improve on their quarter-final exits in 2011. Jose Pekerman has got Colombian football back on track with a little help from James Rodriguez, hosts Chile can claim to be as good as anyone else on the continent right now, and nobody has won more titles than reigning champions Uruguay, leaving very little to split the tournament’s five favourites. So what can we expect from next summer’s showpiece?

MINNOWS NO MORE

Arriving off the back of what was surely the most competitive World Cup qualification process in tournament history, it was no surprise to once again see South American sides star in Brazil. The introduction of a single qualifying group ahead of World Cup 1998 was key, with regular competitive matches now having completely eliminated the concept of the minnow in Conmebol.

Ecuador made their World Cup debut four years after its introduction and have now made it to three of the last four finals, while Venezuela, once the San Marino of the Americas, were deserved Copa America semi-finalists in 2011 and were left genuinely disappointed to have failed to make it to Brazil 2014. For the second World Cup running, the continent had five teams in the knockout stage, while two appeared in the semi-finals, with the remaining three having been knocked out by a fellow South American side.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

Brazil 2014 once again proved how important the role of host nation can be in putting on a truly a top-drawer international tournament. Brazil’s trend of the acapella national anthem not only continued from last year’s Confederations Cup but was adopted by a number of other nations this summer, making for some electric atmospheres. The Chileans were as impressive as anyone, with their rendition against Spain particularly rousing.

With Jorge Sampaoli having replaced the naive and romantic Bichi Borghi on the bench, la Roja also got their Bielsan groove back. A dominant victory over Spain was enough to silence any remaining doubters of their true pedigree, and back at home they will be more than just the neutrals’ favourites this time – with their brightest modern generation at their disposal, 2015 will be the first time they have ever entered a senior international competition as favourites to lift the crown.

THE GAME’S BRIGHTEST

Three of World Cup 2014′s five top-scorers were South American. The continent took the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot, and made up seven of Fifa’s team of the tournament. Lionel Messi is now a regular goalscorer for his country and Neymar has grown into a consistent performer and impressively taken on the burden of leadership responsibilities for Brazil. James Rodriguez has proven himself as a world-class talent and will no doubt continue to improve should he complete a move to Real Madrid this summer.

Moreover, the likes of Thiago Silva, Arturo Vidal, Javier Mascherano, Luis Suarez and Radamel Falcao could all lay legitimate claims for being the best the world has to offer in their respective positions. Suarez may miss the competition following his heavy suspension, but Falcao will return and be desperate to make up for the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup through injury.

LOCAL SCORES TO SETTLE

When Uruguay saw off Paraguay in 2011 they became the kings of the continent, stepping clear ahead of Argentina with 15 Copa Americas. To have done it in their old enemy’s backyard, with the Buenos Aires-born Fernando Muslera having starred as Argentina were shrugged aside on penalties, added insult to injury. Their chances of making it 16 may depend on whether Suarez has returned to the fold by then.

Argentina, meanwhile, could be looking for a new coach should Alejandro Sabella step aside but his two years in charge have laid a solid foundation for a side that came into the 2011 edition muddled and unbalanced. Brazil have just eight titles – though they will remind you they have appeared in fewer tournaments some of their neighbours – but since 1997 the Selecao have won four Copa America titles, more than Argentina and Uruguay combined in that period.

Colombia, meanwhile, have emerged under Pekerman as genuine contenders and will be among as many as five favourites to claim what would be only their second title.

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Someone call the referee, he didn't show up – Falcao

The striker was less than impressed with Carlos Velasco Carballo during the 2-1 loss to Brazil, but wished Neymar a speedy recovery from injury


Monaco striker Radamel Falcao quipped that someone ought to call referee Carlos Velasco Carballo before his next game after he “didn’t show up” for Colombia’s 2-1 World Cup quarter-final defeat to Brazil.

Referee Carlos Velasco Carballo appeared reluctant to show yellow cards for much of the match, despite a huge number of fouls, with Colombia left particulary frustrated that a number of heavy challenges on James Rodriguez went unpunished.

Carballo also opted against showing Julio Cesar a red card when he brought down Carlos Bacca in front of goal for the penalty which James scored in the closing minutes – another decision which prompted a furious response in the Colombian press.

And Falcao, who missed the tournament in Brazil after failing to recover from a knee injury, was left deeply unimpressed by the officiating in Fortaleza.

“For the next game, remember to call the referee, because he did not show up today,” he wrote on his official Twitter page.

Falcao also wished Neymar a quick recovery following the back injury which has ruled him out of the rest of the tournament and praised his compatriots for their efforts over the past month.

He said to Neymar: “Best wishes for a speedy recovery”, before adding to his team-mates: “Thank you for what you have done, the best is yet to come.”

Monaco warn Madrid off Falcao and James

The Colombia stars have been linked with moves to La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, but the club’s vice-president has ruled out a summer exit for either player


Monaco stars Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez are not for sale, according to the Ligue 1 club’s vice-president Vadim Vasilyev.

With five goals in four games, James has emerged as one of the stars of the World Cup and his performances have led to links with Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, while compatriot Falcao has also been rumoured to be on the move to Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

However, Monaco chief Vasilyev insists neither Colombia star will be departing the principality outfit this summer.

“There are no negotiations with any club for Falcao,” he told a press conference on Thursday.

Recent speculation suggested Falcao requested a transfer but the Russian denied this was the case, adding: “We have not talked about that. We count on him and believe he will have a great season in 2014-2015.

“Nobody is not transferable, I don’t know of any examples in football – yet there is no discussion, we rely on him.”

Though Falcao missed the World Cup because of a serious knee injury, James has shone for Colombia, who face Brazil in the quarter-finals on Friday.

And Vasilyev believes the 22-year-old’s displays for Jose Pekerman’s side have justified the €50 million fee Monaco paid Porto last summer.

“Everyone was surprised at the large sum we spent last year and now everyone is talking about him. That means that we were right,” he added.

“We strongly believe in this player, it is very important to us, he still has four years on his contract and we will do many great things together.”

Real Madrid make breakthrough in Falcao transfer push

The Spanish giants are believed to be close to securing a deal to bring the Colombian to the Bernabeu, despite Monaco insisting that their highly-rated striker is not for sale


Real Madrid are in advanced discussions to make Radamel Falcao their latest Galactico, Goal understands.

The Colombia international has expressed his desire to return to Spain following an injury-interrupted season at AS Monaco.

Goal can confirm an outline agreement has been reached, with further discussions over the transfer fee planned.

Though his current contract does not specify a release fee, it was signed last May on the understanding that Falcao would be permitted to leave the club should an attractive offer emerge at the end of his first season there.

Monaco will expect Madrid to match the €60million transfer fee they paid to sign the former Porto striker from Atletico, although, publicly at least, the Ligue 1 club remain adamant they will not be selling their star striker this summer.

“There are no negotiations with any club for Falcao,” said Monaco’s vice-president Vadim Vasilyev on Thursday.

When questioned on whether Falcao had asked to leave, he replied: “We have not talked about that. We count on him and believe he will have a great season in 2014-2015.

“Nobody is not transferable, I don’t know of any examples in football – yet there is no discussion, we rely on him.”

The 28-year-old missed his nation’s impressive run to the World Cup quarter-finals after damaging his left anterior cruciate ligament during a French Cup tie in January, and the transfer to Madrid is being delayed by his rehabilitation from that setback.

Madrid’s medical department have taken a cautious approach to assessing the player’s recovery, requesting that they be granted the opportunity to see Falcao on the pitch before greenlighting the move.
     
Madrid president Florentino Perez is a long standing admirer of Falcao, having attempted to prise the forward from Atletico Madrid during a two-season spell in which he scored 70 goals in 91 appearances for their cross-city rivals.

Atletico, however, refused to allow their leading scorer to join Los Blancos, paving the way for a move to newly-enriched Monaco instead.
     
Falcao has scored 153 times in 197 club matches in the five seasons since he left South America for Porto, winning back-to-back Europa Leagues and four national trophies.