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The tale of two talismans


Falcao scores on Monaco debut

Radamel Falcao scored on his Monaco debut but could not prevent his new club going down to a 3-2 defeat to German second division outfit Fortuna Dusseldorf on Sunday.

When Falcao, 27, emerged from the bench 35 minutes from the end of the pre-season friendly at the ESPRIT Arena, his team were already 3-0 down, but though he was unable to overturn that advantage, he gave Monaco fans a glimpse of his formidable goal-scoring ability.

Latching onto a pass from fellow newboy James Rodriguez, who had struck Monaco's first goal 40 seconds into his debut just before the hour mark, Falcao sent a low drive in off Fabian Giefer's right-hand post eight minutes from time to begin the repayment of his estimated €60 million transfer fee.

"My first game with Monaco went well," the Colombia international told Monaco's club TV channel. "It was our first official game. We don't know each other very well yet, but we're going to improve. We've worked a lot physically before this game, but we tried to play as a team. Unfortunately, we lost. We have a week to improve."

Before heading to the Austrian Alpine village of Seefeld to continue their pre-season training, coach Claudio Ranieri, who also introduced major new signings Ricardo Carvalho, Eric Abidal, Jeremy Toulalan and Joao Moutinho during the game, told ASM TV he would leave Germany in a positive frame of mind.

"Of course I'm not happy with the result, but I'm satisfied with the work done by the team. The most important thing is our physical condition, and we leave with no injuries. We're working hard at the minute, and Dusseldorf were ahead of us in their preparations."


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