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.”