2014 Should’ve be the happiest year of Radamel Falcao. His country just returned to the World Cup tournament after 16 years of absence and Falcao was the main reason: During the qualifiers he was the top scorer of Colombia and considered as the best striker in the world those days. But less the six months before the big tournament in Brazil, his dream ended in seconds. Falcao played in the French cup with his club, Monaco vs. a 3rd division club called Chasselay in a match that for some reason, Monaco’s coach, Claudio Ranieri, decided that he needs Falcao. In the 39th minute, when Monaco is leading 0-1, Falcao was tackled inside the box by Soner Ertek.
It wasn’t seem so bad at first, but after Falcao was checked in the hospital, the severity of the injury was big: A torn ACL on his left knee which required a rest of several months. Falcao and the national team doctors did everything they could so the captain will be in Brazil 2014 but it wasn’t enough. Jose Pekerman, Colombia’s coach, waited to him until the last second but on June 2nd he announced: “Falcao is one of the three players who won’t be with us in Brazil”. At the end Colombia had the best tournament in their history and James Rodriguez became the new leader, but everyone knew that it should be Falcao’s tournament. Now the question was: “Will Falcao be able to return his pre-injury form”?
He was still considered as one of the best and Manchester United decided to loan him from Monaco when Louis Van Gaal arrived as the new coach of the red devils. Falcao started the season frightened for every move he makes. Barely scored at first and lost confidence. It was shortly until Van Gall simply stopped believe in him and didn’t let him play. 10-15 minutes here and there, despite several times that the Colombian announced: “I’m 100% completely healthy. I don’t know why I’m not playing”. Even his wife attacks Van Gaal on her Twitter account, but the Dutch coach didn’t mind. Falcao didn’t look good after the injury. It wasn’t the same player, wasn’t fast and sharp but he also didn’t get too many chances. At the end of the season, he moved from Manchester to Chelsea also on loan.
Despite having a terrible season, Jose Pekerman, who loves Falcao very much, decided to give him a chance in the 2015 Copa America. It was a mistake. Falcao was terrible, just like the who national team. He played in almost all 4 games but barely was involved and didn’t score. For everyone it was almost clear that Falcao’s career, at least in the national team, will end much sooner then expected.
His salary was very high and no team wanted to take a risk with him until came Chelsea and Jose Mourinho who loaned Falcao from Monaco. But once again this match up was wrong. Falcao got even less chances then in Manchester United, plus he got injured several times which didn’t help the situation. It seemed that the career will come to an end not only with Colombia but in general. He wasn’t invited for the Copa America 2016 and wasn’t in Pekerman’s plans for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Falcao knew that he must decrease his salary if he wants another chance in Europe or to keep earning his millions but in leagues like the MLS or China, where money is not a problem. But Falcao wanted to show the world that he is not done yet. According to his contract, he needed to show up in Monaco’s training until they will find a new team who will sign him for 2016-17 season. No European team wanted to pay his salary and his transfer when they knew that they won’t get the old Falcao. In the meantime, El Tigre started to show good form in Monaco’s preseason games and the coach Leonardo Jardim decided to give him a chance. It was his best decision of the season.
Falcao started the season very good. He was chosen to be the captain and with the young talents he has in this team, Monaco so far is the biggest surprise in Europe. So far he has 28 goals in 37 matches, just like the good old days. Pekerman also invite him again to the national team, even though he was injured again in the last call-up.
Monaco is very close to win the championship in France and also needs to meet Juventus in the Champions League semi final. Colombia also very close to secure her berth in the 2018 World Cup. It’s the same World Cup that Falcao missed but now he has to be there. Unlike the last qualifiers, here Falcao didn’t have a part at all, but if any player deserves to play on the big stage, it’s El Tigre Falcao. And who knows, maybe the player Monaco wanted to loaned out at the beginning of the season, will bring the most important title to the French club.