One striker who has been hitting the headlines over the past few months is FC Porto striker Falcao so we decided that we would let you lot know what all the fuss is about as he may well be plying his trade in the Premier League next season. Rumours have intensified of late following the news that his current manager Andre Villas-Boas will be managing Chelsea next season.
It is not just Chelsea that have been linked with the potent forward – Spurs and Arsenal are said to be watching the the 25-year-old’s situation. He has earned his plaudits after a landmark season for FC Porto, where the team romped to win the league and the Portuguese cup, as well as the UEFA Europa League in a emphatic treble. You may be asking yourself who Falcao is and thinking his name sounds familiar?
Well you would be right as he actually named after legendary Brazilian player Paulo Roberto Falcao thanks to his father, who was also a professional footballer in their native Colombia. Falcao was discovered at 15 years old by River Plate scouts whilst playing for Colombia’s under 17 side. River Plate gave the young striker a platform to impress and impress he did scoring two goals on his debut as a 19 year old.
From there he didn’t look back scoring 7 in 7 starts before being struck down with a ruptured ACL injury. Like any footballer who suffers that kind of injury, recovery was tough and he experienced a lull initially, but by September 2007 looked to be back to his old self scoring a hat-trick to take River Plate through to the quarter finals of the Copa Sudamericana and his goals later took them to the semi’s. It was his performances throughout this period that saw him called up for the full Colombian national side and he was selected in the annual “XI of America” as one of the best players in the league. He finished top scorer for River with 32 in 35 games over the 2007-2008 season.
It wasn’t long before Europe took note, but Falcao remained at River for the 2008-2009 period, playing in a side with another hot property this summer, Alexis Sanchez. He again finished top scorer with 16 in 38 games playing a more withdrawn role before leaving River to sign for FC Porto for a fee of just €5.5m. It was reported that both Liverpool and Villa made late attempts to sign the striker known as ‘El Tigre’ (The Tiger) before he turned down Benfica to sign for their rivals FC Porto. He was earlier linked with Arsenal and Manchester United.
So he was already well known in England and his form over the past two seasons at FC Porto has only further enhanced his reputation. In his first season with Porto he gained some valuable Champions League experienced and finished the season with 34 goals in all competitions, 4 of which came in Europe. That brings us to the record breaking season just gone where the striker has just got better and better, but what can we expect from ‘El Tigre’?
He isn’t the biggest striker standing at just over 5ft 9ins, but don’t be fooled – he is surprisingly impressive with his head. His movement and agility get him in the right areas and he has no problem converting chances with either foot. Despite the early knee injury the man is pacey and has a great burst of speed and acceleration to get away from opponents and is also very comfortable in the dribble. His finishing ability is second to none, whether that is long range, snap shots in the box, back-post headers or one-on-one’s, the guy loves scoring goals.
Make no mistake about it, Falcao is becoming one of the world’s best strikers and at only 25 years old looks set to terrorise defences for years to come. He could easily make the transition to the Premiership and has scored goals wherever he has been. He looks best upfront in a pair, but can play alone and also deeper, a role he played at River. Whoever signs this guy will be buying one hell of a player and with a reported buy-out clause of only €25m he could turn out to be a bargain in a world where Andy Carroll costs £35m.