- 5'10" (1.78m)
- 172 lbs (78 kg)
- February 10, 1986
- Santa Marta, Colombia
Since migrating to Europe in 2009, Radamel Falcao has scored 153 goals in 197 competitive club appearances to establish himself as one of the most prolific strikers on the planet.
Moving from his native Colombia to River Plate as a 14-year-old, Falcao was relentless in his desire to become a professional footballer and his battling spirit -- coupled with netting two goals on his debut -- quickly won over the Argentinean fans, who nicknamed him El Tigre -- The Tiger.
A serious knee injury in 2006 threatened to hamper his development but after a tough 12 months, he returned to form and was River's top scorer as they sealed the 2008 Clausura title. The talented Colombian's performances had not gone unnoticed, however, and Porto snapped him up in 2009 to replace outgoing star Lisandro Lopez.
His impact was immediate, as he fast became one of Portuguese football's most clinical strikers, netting 34 goals in all competitions and claiming the winner as Porto won the domestic Cup. Falcao's form continued to improve over the next few years and after a blistering 2010-11 season, which saw his remarkable tally of 17 goals in 14 Europa League games break Jurgen Klinsmann's European scoring record (15) and fire Porto to glory in the competition, Falcao had established himself as one of the most fearsome and coveted strikers in world football.
A transfer to Atletico Madrid worth in excess of 40 million euros followed -- making him the most expensive player in the club's history. And El Tigre did not disappoint as he scored 36 goals in his debut season, including 12 in Europe, as he fired Los Colchoneros to Europa League success -- making him the first player to win two consecutive Europa League titles with two different teams.
He began the 2012-13 season in style as his magnificent hat trick in the 4-1 UEFA Super Cup victory over Chelsea earned Atleti another piece of silverware, while his career in Spain ended on a high as he inspired his side to a win over fierce rivals Real Madrid for the first time in 14 years to seal the Copa del Rey.
Identified by Dmitry Rybolovlev as the player capable of transforming Monaco into a European superpower, Falcao made the move to the principality in the summer of 2013 in a deal worth an estimated 60 million euros. His career got off to a perfect start as he netted on his Ligue 1 debut against Bordeaux with a further 10 goals in his next 18 appearances.
However, disaster struck for the Colombian during a Coupe de France match against minnows Monts d'Or Azergues Foot where he suffered a serious knee injury which ruled him out for the rest of the season and jeopardised his involvement at the 2014 World Cup. Coach Claudio Ranieri was heavily criticised for starting the striker in a match against such lowly opponents but Falcao insisted that it was his decision to play.
An idol in his native homeland, national coach Jose Pekerman will be sweating on his talisman's fitness. Falcao netted nine times in Colombia's successful qualifying campaign, helping Los Cafeteros to reach their first World Cup in 16 years. If Falcao does recover in time, the Colombians have a realistic chance of reaching the quarterfinals for the first time in their history.
Strengths: He can use both feet and is imperious in the air despite only being 5' 10''; he also boasts pace, technique and an unerring coolness in front of goal that has seen comparisons drawn with the Brazilian Ronaldo.
Weaknesses: Has been known to suffer crises of confidence and former Porto boss Andre Villa-Boas described him as a "frustrated" figure when he suffered a barren run at the start of 2010-11.
Career high: His winning goal in the 2011 Europa League final secured Porto's third major trophy of the season and cemented his record of scoring the most Europa League goals in a single season.
Career low: A serious knee injury in January 2014 kept him sidelined for the rest of his debut season at Monaco and put his participation in Colombia's first World Cup in 16 years in doubt.
Style: Agile, strong, powerful; a natural finisher.
Quotes: "I'd like to play with him. Falcao is a great player and is at a very high level. He has won everything in a season in which he scored many goals. He is, today, the great reference of Colombian football." Lionel Messi, June 2011.
Trivia: He is named after former Brazil midfielder Falcao, who starred for the Selecao at the 1982 World Cup campaign -- when Tele Santana's side became arguably the best ever not to win the tournament.
|Monaco||A - Monts d'Or||Jan 22, 2014||Fra Cup||W 0-3||Sub-Off 46.0 min||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Monaco||A - Toulouse||Jan 19, 2014||Ligue 1||W 0-2||Sub-Off 68.0 min||0||0||5||3||4||1||0||0|
|Monaco||A - Montpellier||Jan 10, 2014||Ligue 1||D 1-1||Started||0||0||3||1||2||1||1||0|
|Monaco||A - Vannes OC||Jan 5, 2014||Fra Cup||W 2-3||Sub-Off 62.0 min||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Monaco||H - Valenciennes||Dec 20, 2013||Ligue 1||L 1-2||Sub-On 45.0||0||0||1||1||1||2||0||0|
|Monaco||A - Nantes||Nov 24, 2013||Ligue 1||W 0-1||Sub-Off 62.0 min||0||0||2||0||2||1||0||0|
|Colombia||A - Netherlands||Nov 19, 2013||Int||D 0-0||Sub-Off 86 min||0||0||1||1||1||2||1||0|
|Colombia||A - Belgium||Nov 14, 2013||Int||W 0-2||Sub-Off 70 min||1||0||2||2||0||2||0||0|
|Monaco||H - Evian Thonon||Nov 8, 2013||Ligue 1||D 1-1||Started||1||0||2||1||0||1||0||0|
|Monaco||A - Lille||Nov 3, 2013||Ligue 1||L 2-0||Started||0||0||6||3||3||3||1||0|
|Monaco||H - Lyon||Oct 27, 2013||Ligue 1||W 2-1||Started||1||0||4||3||1||1||0||0|
|Monaco||A - Sochaux||Oct 20, 2013||Ligue 1||D 2-2||Started||0||0||5||2||7||4||1||0|
|Colombia||H - Chile||Oct 11, 2013||WCQ||D 3-3||Started||2||0||6||3||2||2||1||0|
|Monaco||H - St Etienne||Oct 5, 2013||Ligue 1||W 2-1||Started||0||0||2||0||2||3||1||0|
|Monaco||A - Reims||Sep 29, 2013||Ligue 1||D 1-1||Started||0||0||1||0||5||2||0||0|
|Monaco||H - Bastia||Sep 25, 2013||Ligue 1||W 3-0||Started||2||0||3||3||2||1||1||0|
|Monaco||A - PSG||Sep 22, 2013||Ligue 1||D 1-1||Started||1||0||4||1||5||2||0||0|
|Monaco||H - Lorient||Sep 15, 2013||Ligue 1||W 1-0||Sub-Off 62 min||1||0||2||1||2||2||0||0|
|Colombia||A - Uruguay||Sep 10, 2013||WCQ||L 2-0||Started||0||0||1||0||2||4||0||0|
|Colombia||H - Ecuador||Sep 6, 2013||WCQ||W 1-0||Started||0||0||5||5||3||0||0||0|
|Monaco||A - Marseille||Sep 1, 2013||Ligue 1||W 1-2||Sub-Off 72 min||1||0||1||1||2||2||0||0|
|Monaco||H - Toulouse||Aug 23, 2013||Ligue 1||D 0-0||Started||0||0||4||1||4||7||0||0|
|Monaco||H - Montpellier||Aug 18, 2013||Ligue 1||W 4-1||Started||1||0||1||1||3||2||0||0|
|Monaco||A - Bordeaux||Aug 10, 2013||Ligue 1||W 0-2||Started||1||0||3||2||4||3||0||0|
|Colombia||H - Peru||Jun 11, 2013||WCQ||W 2-0||Started||1||0||2||2||5||4||1||0|
|Colombia||A - Argentina||Jun 7, 2013||WCQ||D 0-0||Started||0||0||3||1||5||4||0||0|
|Colombia||A - Venezuela||Mar 26, 2013||WCQ||L 1-0||Started||0||0||3||1||1||4||0||0|
|Colombia||H - Bolivia||Mar 22, 2013||WCQ||W 5-0||Started||1||0||7||5||1||5||0||0|
|Colombia||H - Guatemala||Feb 6, 2013||Int||W 4-1||Unused Substitute|
|Colombia||H - Paraguay||Oct 12, 2012||WCQ||W 2-0||Started||2||0||4||2||1||0||0||0|
|Colombia||A - Chile||Sep 11, 2012||WCQ||W 1-3||Started||1||1||9||4||0||1||0||0|
|Colombia||A - Ecuador||Jun 10, 2012||WCQ||L 1-0||Started||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0|
|Colombia||A - Peru||Jun 3, 2012||WCQ||W 0-1||Started||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|Colombia||A - Bolivia||Oct 11, 2011||WCQ||W 1-2||Sub-On 78||1||0||2||1||0||0||0||0|