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Sep 10, 2012

Gabi hails Falcao as world's best

Atletico Madrid captain Gabi has described Radamel Falcao as "the best No. 9 in the world" and said the striker can achieve all his ambitions without leaving the club.

Falcao, 26, is valued at €60 million and has been linked with moves to Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City in recent weeks. He was on the scoresheet as Colombia beat Uruguay 4-0 in World Cup qualifying on Friday.

Gabi, speaking to Spanish daily AS, said Falcao had no intention of leaving the Vicente Calderon, adding: "He is the best No. 9 in the world and everyone wants to sign him.

"I have spent lots of time with him - he is my room-mate. He is very ambitious and knows he can achieve things here. He is delighted to continue with Atletico... he is very happy to stay with us."

Falcao has started the new season with a bang, scoring a hat-trickw against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga and Chelsea in the European Supercup.

Gabi said Atletico had found a style of play that suited both the player and his team-mates, adding: "His confidence is sky high at the moment.

"He has found his best style of play - moving around the penalty area, not coming deep to receive the ball as much. The team works a lot so that he is happy and gets the ball."

Former Atletico youth-teamer Gabi, 29, who often takes set-pieces for his club, said the players were working on capitalising on Falcao's ability in the air even more.

"His aerial power is brutal," he said. "He is the best header of the ball in the world, well ahead of everyone else. We try to take advantage of that, to look for him."

Gabi said Atletico needed to replicate the sort of form that disposed of Chelsea 4-1 in the European Supercup on a regular basis in La Liga.

"If that was not our best night, it was one of our best," he said. "The team played at a really high level - everything went well for us from the first minute until the last.

"Consistency is now the most important. We cannot hide from ourselves that Atletico play three good games and three bad games. We need to focus and take responsibility."

He said achieving this consistency was a key aim for coach Diego Simeone, explaining: "He gives everything himself and everything must be done exactly to the letter, through hard work. This translates on to the pitch, where the team has showed a lot of force and a huge fighting spirit."

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