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May 9, 2012

Falcao eyes Europa League success

Atletico Madrid striker Falcao says that the club have been targeting success in the Europa League since the first day of the season, as they get ready to face Athletic Bilbao in an all-Spanish final in Bucharest on Wednesday.

• Preview: Bucharest anticipates sizzler

Falcao, 26, scored 17 goals in the competition to help FC Porto to the title last season and is now back in the showpiece event with his new club. The Colombian insists that winning back-to-back trophies would be something he has been keen to do from the very start.

"I want to give our supporters many reasons to celebrate," Falcao told AS. "We had this moment in our minds since the first day of the season. It was very hard to get here, but we overcame strong opposition, so we're very proud."

Falcao has netted ten times in this season's tournament, but knows the challenge that Bilbao will pose.

"Athletic are a very hard-working team, and they know what to do with the ball when they have it. [Marcelo] Bielsa changed their style, and it's working really well," he said. "They have [Fernando] Llorente and other talented players, but we know their strongest and weakest points."

The striker also credited coach Diego Simeone, who replaced Gregorio Manzano in December, with turning the club's fortunes around.

"Simeone knew how motivate us," he added. "When he arrived, the morale wasn't very good, and the coach knew exactly what to do, and he took us to a new level. That's why we are going to Bucharest."

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