Radamel Falcao Garcia Zarate is a Colombian striker who has been a part of the national squad at the Under-17, Under-20 and the senior level. Known as ‘El Tigre’ or ‘The Tiger’, Falcao took after his father who also played professional football in Colombia. However, Falcao chose the opposite end of the pitch as compared to his father, Radamel Garcia, who was a defender. Radamel was named after the Brazilian legend Falcao.
He began his playing career at a Colombian football school that went by the name Fair Play. Moving up from the junior levels, Falcao became a part of the youth development program at Bogota’s largest club, Millonarios. Falcao was instantly picked up by River Plate and brought into their youth division. Falcao was, soon, a part of the reserve team as well as the youth team at River, soon signing his professional contract with the team as well.
The two-footed striker was extremely agile and at the age of 20, made his debut for River by scoring twice in his very first game for the club. With seven goals in his first seven games, Falcao was turning into a household name when injury stopped his goal-fest short. He hurt his right knee in the off-season of 2005 and that left him on the sidelines for a number of games.
|Height / weight||1.78 m / 73 kg|
|Born||10 Feb 1986|
|Johor Darul Ta'zim FC||2023 - present|
|Rayo Vallecano||2021 - 2022|
|Galatasaray S.K. (football)||2019 - 2021|
|Monaco||2013 - 2019|
|Chelsea||2015 - 2016 (loan)|
|Man Utd||2014 - 2015 (loan)|
|Atlético||2011 - 2013|
|FC Porto||2009 - 2011|
|Club Atletico River Plate||2004 - 2009|
|Lanceros Boyacá||1999 - 2001|
In 2006 and 2007, he returned to football but was struggling to stay fit at all times. Finally, in 2007, he made it back into the first team squad at River Plate and began to give demonstrations of the form that made him a crowd favourite in his early days. His return to form saw him make his appearance in the national team squad for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers against Brazil and Venezuela.
Falcao’s performances in 2007 got him into the “XI of America” team chosen by journalists in South America. He was fifth in the 2007 South American Player of the Year awards. With the River squad, his only title has been the 2008 Clausura championships.
In 2009 Falcao was signed by Porto and he was an instant hit in Portugal. In his two clubs at Porto, he scored 41 goals in 51 league appearances and won the Primeira Liga and the Europa League in 2010-11 and the Portuguese Super Cup in 2010 and 2011.
Falcao scored 17 goals in 14 games in the Europa League in 2010-11 to set up a new record; he scored in the final as well.
In August 2011 Atletico paid Porto €40 million to sign Falcao, who emerged as one of the top players in La Liga in 2011-12. He scored a total of 36 goals for Madrid in his debut campaign in Spain and won the Europa League in 2011-12, becoming the first player in his history to win the competition two years in a row. Falcao also topscored in the competition for the second season in succession.