Falcao breaks SIX year Champions League drought

The former Chelsea and Manchester United forward had not netted in the competition since February 2010 before scoring twice for Monaco against CSKA Moscow

Radamel Falcao’s return to Champions League football this season has not quite gone to plan, but the Colombian’s drought in the competition is finally over.

The former Manchester United and Chelsea striker netted twice in the first half as Monaco put CSKA Moscow to the sword on matchday four.

And his first goal saw him find the net in Europe’s premier club competition for the first time in over six years.

2010 – Radamel Falcao has scored his first Champions League goal since 17/02/2010, 2450 days ago. Tigre.

— OptaJean (@OptaJean) November 2, 2016

His last strike came in a 2-1 win for Porto over Arsenal in Februay 2010 – a mere 2450 days ago!

Falcao's problems due to spell in Premier League, says Monaco coach

After suffering a serious knee injury the experienced striker then suffered out on loan to the two English clubs, scoring just five goals in two seasons

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim criticised Radamel Falcao’s decision to go out on loan to Manchester United and Chelsea as the Colombia striker attempts to rediscover his best form.

Falcao suffered a serious knee injury midway through his first season at Monaco and was sent out on loan to United for the 2014-15 Premier League campaign, only to move on to Chelsea the following term.

‘Spain could recall David Villa’

But he failed to impress in England, netting just five goals in all competitions for the two clubs.

Back in France and Ligue 1, Falcao already has two goals in four appearances and, while questioning his time in the Premier League, Jardim insisted the 30-year-old remains one of the world’s best strikers.

“The problem with Falcao is not only his knee injury, it is also the fact that he left to play two seasons in Manchester and Chelsea,” said Jardim.
“He tried to keep playing at a high level when normally when you have an injury like this, you stay in your club to try to come back faster. 

“When a player is injured, normally they do not change club. It’s not easy to recover and play along. Players are not machines.”

Jardim continued: “I do not know if it was a mistake, but it did not work well. He did not play, but it is not a problem of quality because he remains one of the best strikers. 

“He has not changed. He’s only 30 years old. Here our aim is to help him back to his level.”

Falcao scored on his comeback from concussion in a 6-2 win against Montpellier last week and the former Atletico Madrid star will be eager to add to his tally when Monaco face Saint-Etienne on Saturday.

Will Falcao ever recapture his greatness?

falcao

Radamel Falcao | Uruguay 2 – Colombia 0” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by jikatu

Only three years ago, Radamel Falcao was untouchable. He was possibly the world’s most prolific striker with one of the greatest goals to games ratios in the history of football. That all changed after the player suffered an anterior-cruciate injury in 2014, which caused him to lose the deadly acceleration he used to rely on to poach goals. Now back at Monaco and struggling with injury concerns once again, fans are wondering whether El Tigre will ever be able to return to excellence and justify his whopping transfer tag.

When Monaco signed Falcao for 60million in 2013, they were expecting to have the most dangerous striker on the continent at their disposal, in the hope of pushing for a first Ligue 1 win since the turn of the millennium. Paris Saint-Germain continue to be the dominant force in the French top flight however, with the latest Ligue 1 betting odds placing them at 2/9 to storm to the title again. After nine rounds of fixtures, Monaco sit third in the league- four points behind the champions.

When he joined Monaco, Falcao was coming off the back of two incredible seasons with Atletico Madrid (see below) where he had notched up 53 goals in 69 appearances. Instead of carrying on this explosive form, though, the man nicknamed “The King of the Europa League” had his first season cut drastically short by the harrowing knee injury that he has never bounced back from.

Failed loan spells at Manchester United and Chelsea may have served to improve Falcao’s fitness levels, but his failure to recapture any of his past form and his banishment to the bench for the majority of the fixtures was a huge blow to the striker’s confidence. In 36 appearances at both clubs he only managed to muster a total of 5 goals. The idea behind the loan spells wasn’t only to cut wage costs, but was also to slowly coax the 30-year-old back to his best. When he returned to Monaco, however, the Ligue 1 club retained a player who was psychologically battered and bruised.  

via GIPHY

In the summer, Falcao gave fans a cause for optimism. He began pre-season in fine fettle, bagging a brace and a goal in successive matches against Sporting Lisbon and Zenit Saint Petersburg. The Colombian said that he was beginning to feel as though he was in good shape, and was looking forward to the season ahead. Unfortunately, thigh and head injuries have meant he has only made four appearances so far this season, scoring one goal in the process.

Looking at the recent resurgence of Fernando Torres could provide Falcao fans with a glimmer of hope. The Spaniard peaked at Liverpool, scoring an impressive 65 goals in 102 Premier League appearances. He suffered the exact same injury as Falcao towards the end of his spell on Merseyside, and subsequently his move to Chelsea was a complete failure – he managed to accrue a mere 20 goals in 110 league games. Last season with Atletico Madrid the 32-year-old did manage to find his shooting boots again, though, and put away eleven goals in La Liga.

Falcao hasn’t featured in a game for Monaco since suffering from a concussion on 21 September. Encouragingly however, he is back in training and could soon return to the starting line-up. This could be the make-or-break season for the former Atletico man, and fans are sure to be willing him back to his former brilliance. 

Nice 4-0 Monaco: Balotelli pips Falcao to send hosts top of Ligue 1

The derby clash had been billed as a straight shootout between the two strikers and it was the Italian who came out on top with a brace

Mario Balotelli continued his impressive start to life in Ligue 1 as his brace in a 4-0 rout of rivals Monaco sent Nice to the top of the table. 

The controversial Italy international left Liverpool for Nice on a free transfer in the last window and made it four goals in two league appearances with his brace in Wednesday’s derby at the Allianz Riviera.

Paul Baysse had already headed Nice into a 17th-minute lead by the time Balotelli raced into the area and drilled a shot into the far corner.

The former AC Milan striker then doubled his tally for the evening and the season in the 68th minute when he swept home first time inside the penalty area.

Balotelli missed out on the chance to make it a hat-trick as he had already been replaced when Nice were awarded a penalty for Tiemoue Bakayoko’s challenge on Valentin Eysseric that earned the Monaco defender a red card.

Alassane Plea, Balotelli’s replacement, saw his spot-kick saved by Danijel Subasic, but made amends moments later by nodding home Wylan Cyprien’s cross to complete a comprehensive victory for Lucien Favre’s men.

Monaco’s unbeaten league run consequently came to an abrupt halt, while Nice hold a one-point lead at the summit over champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Falcao still in hospital – Jardim

The striker is still suffering from concussion after clashing with Nice goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale, prompting the Monaco coach to call for stricter rules

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim confirmed Radamel Falcao remains in hospital after suffering a concussion in Wednesday’s 4-0 Ligue 1 defeat to Nice.

Falcao went to the ground in first-half stoppage time after a bad collision with Nice goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale and was taken to hospital for a series of tests.

And Jardim voiced his dismay with the referee’s decision not to penalise Cardinale for reckless behaviour, calling for stricter rules for custodians.
READ MORE | Jardim: Falcao needs to play more to reach his peak

“Falcao is still in hospital after suffering a concussion,” Jardim told reporters at press news conference.

“The referees have to pay closer attention and punish actions like this. It should have been a red card in my opinion.

“When a player takes such a risk [to injure an opponent], there has to be some sort of punishment.”

The defeat in the top-of-the-table clash saw Monaco drop to third place in the Ligue 1 table.

Jardim: Falcao needs to play more to reach his peak

The Colombian scored his first Ligue 1 goal in more than two years at the weekend but his trainer says he still needs to prove his fitness

Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim has urged patience with Radamel Falcao, stating he is unsure whether the striker is fully fit and ready to complete 90 minutes for the Ligue 1 leaders.

Falcao scored his first goal in France’s top flight since August 2014 in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Rennes, following two unsuccessful seasons on loan with Manchester United and Chelsea.

Nevertheless, Jardim is keen to play down expectations surrounding the Colombia international, whose struggles can be traced back to a cruciate knee ligament injury that forced him to miss the 2014 World Cup.

“It’s normal that he is not at 100 per cent because he did not play for a month,” Jardim told a press conference ahead of Wednesday’s derby against second-place Nice.
READ MORE | Falcao scores on Monaco return

“He needs to play more and more to reach his level. I don’t know if he’ll be able to play 90 minutes. We’ll see what happens, and we’ll have to substitute him if needed.”

Regardless of which players he selects to see out the match against Nice, Jardim insists there is no way any of his squad should be lacking for motivation at the Allianz Riviera.

“I think that playing a derby is very good, it’s a very important game for our fans and for us,” he said.

“I think this year it’ll be a bigger game because it’s first against second and I think it’s been many years since we’ve had this derby with the two teams at the top of the league.

“Because of all this, we have all the reasons to play a good game.”

Tottenham, beware! Fighting fit Falcao finally takes to Champions League stage

The Colombia international has played only eight matches in Europe’s premier club competition but is set to play a starring role for Monaco this time around

COMMENT

Radamel Falcao might have had his problems over two years spent on loan at Manchester United and Chelsea, but it remains remarkable that a striker considered so formidable in the modern-day game has such little Champions League experience.

By the time that the Colombian turns out for Monaco against Tottenham on Wednesday, if indeed he is selected by Leonardo Jardim after playing just a few minutes following a month on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, it will have been exactly 2381 days since he last played in the competition. 

Fittingly, he picks up in London, where he signed off in a 5-0 last-16 second-leg defeat against Arsenal in March 2010 after grabbing the winner in Portugal three weeks earlier.

But after a couple of seasons in the doldrums, it appears he is back to his best and finally ready to assault Europe’s top competition for just a second time. 

After leaving Porto he joined Atletico Madrid, who were not at that time in the full swing of the Diego Simeone revolution. Seventy goals in barely 90 matches in the Spanish capital made him one of Europe’s most sought-after forwards, but instead of moving to a genuine heavyweight, the money-laden Monaco project attracted him. 

It was a move that earned him the reputation of a Champions League dodger, and this was not aided by a switch to a Manchester United side recovering from the hangover of Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure and bereft of top-level football.

If anything can be extrapolated from the mere eight matches that Falcao has played in the competition previously, it is that the 30-year-old is more than able to make the grade. From eight matches, including two each against Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Arsenal, he has scored four goals.

“I’m confident he will get back to his best this season with Monaco,” Vadim Vasilyev, the vice president of the principality club declared to The Guardian, while launching an attack on the Premier League sides who took him on loan.

“Whereas English clubs failed to relaunch Falcao, maybe because they didn’t have the patience or willingness to do so, at Monaco this will be his season. 

“When you take a player after a big injury you cannot count on a miracle to happen and he starts performing from the first game. 

“The big clubs need results immediately, they don’t have the patience to relaunch the player. You need time, you need to put up a special plan and strategy, increase playing time gradually and know in advance that the player will not be performing at his top level immediately.”

The indications are that the Stade Louis II club’s patience will be rewarded. During pre-season he looked back to his predatory best, and during the two competitive starts he made against Fenerbahce in the third qualifying round for the Champions League, he bagged a couple of goals. 

As Vasilyev stressed, the Colombia international will need time to regain his feet, and he cannot be expected to be decisive against Tottenham, but any competitive minutes he does get in the Champions League will be a major step on his road back to becoming a feared forward.

Falcao faces weeks out with thigh injury

The former Manchester United, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker has suffered another fitness setback after coming off during his side’s Champions League win

Monaco have confirmed that Radamel Falcao faces weeks on the sidelines due to a thigh muscle injury.

The Colombia international was substituted during his side’s 3-1 Champions League qualifying win over Fenerbahce on Wednesday, having earlier scored a penalty to help Monaco on their way to a 4-3 aggregate win.

Following tests on the problem, Monaco have announced that they expect to be without the 29-year-old for a number of weeks as he attempts to recuperate.
“Taken off due to injury just before half-time, Radamel Falcao will be absent for several weeks,” the club announced via their official website.

“Falcao suffered a muscle injury in his left thigh that will require treatment, a period of rest and recovery over a number of weeks.”

.@falcao suffers muscular injury in his left thigh and will be out for a few weeks. pic.twitter.com/VTHGt160fh
— AS Monaco EN (@AS_Monaco_EN) August 5, 2016

Falcao has struggled to maintain fitness ever since he suffered a cruciate ligament injury in January 2014 that ruled him out of the World Cup in Brazil.

He managed just 14 Premier League starts during a loan spell with Manchester United in 2014-15, and he only started twice in all competitions with Chelsea last season, after sustaining a groin injury.

Falcao scores as Monaco return ends in defeat to Fenerbahce

The Ligue 1 side went down in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier, but the Colombian marksman was on target in his first game back

Radamel Falcao scored on his first competitive appearance since returning to Monaco but was unable to prevent a 2-1 defeat at Fenerbahce in the first leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie.

Following unsuccessful loan spells at Manchester United and Chelsea, Falcao has returned to the Ligue 1 side with two years still remaining on his contract.

The 30-year-old started in attack as Monaco took on Fenerbahce at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, capitalising on a defensive error to mark his return with a close-range goal.

Falcao’s first-half strike had cancelled out Emmanuel Emenike’s opener, but the former West Ham attacker ensured the Turkish team hold the upper hand ahead of the return match with a phenomenal second on 63 minutes.

Ex-Paris Saint-Germain full-back Gregory van der Wiel picked out Emenike in space in the box and the striker sent a brilliant volley into the bottom corner.

Nevertheless, Falcao’s away goal could yet play a crucial role when the tie comes to its conclusion at the Stade Louis II next week.

Falcao: Premier League struggles will serve me well at Monaco

The Colombia international failed to shine during stays at Manchester United and Chelsea after a succession of injuries, but he has vowed to succeed in Ligue 1

Radamel Falcao is confident that his “difficult” two-year spell in England can serve him well upon his return to Monaco.

Colombia international Falcao arrived at Stade Louis II ahead of the 2013-14 season as one of the most prolific and feared strikers in world football.

However, he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in January 2014 that saw him miss that year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Upon his return to action, Falcao joined Manchester United on a lucrative loan deal, but his stay at Old Trafford proved an unhappy one as he found the net just four times in 26 Premier League appearances in the 2014-15 season.
READ MORE  | Marquinhos flattered by Barca links

Despite that poor return Chelsea gambled on a loan deal of their own last season, but Falcao once again failed to rediscover his former heights and managed just one goal in 10 league outings.

The 30-year-old is back at Monaco – he was on the scoresheet in a 45-minute runout on Tuesday in a 3-1 defeat to Zenit in a pre-season friendly – and he told the club’s official website: “My experience in England was difficult but it served me well as a footballer and as a person. 

“I hope what I’ve learned will serve me now, here in Monaco. I’m very happy to be back in Monaco to play.

“It’s interesting to see how the team progresses game after game. The sensations are good, I feel good. 

“The only thing I need is to accumulate games and playing time. With the games, my body will quickly adapt to the rhythm of the competition.”