Athletes are revered and idolized around the world. Some of them are in it for the fame, some for the money and others for sheer love of the game. In the case of Colombian forward Radamel Falcao, I really cannot tell.
Falcao has probably made one sensible move during his career — leaving River Plate for FC Porto. Now that a move to Manchester United looks imminent, reports indicate that he will be joining the Red Devils on a season-long loan. He will be a welcomed addition to the Premier League, but he won’t be winning it.
The striker is arguably the best in the world. His time at AS Monaco has been hampered by recent injury, but he is still at his pinnacle. Falcao has scored 200 goals in 305 outings during his career — not too shabby. I won’t go on to waste time with stats and reasons, because it’s simple; he scores goals — lots and lots of them.
What continues to baffle me, though, are his transfer decisions. Falcao left Porto for Atletico Madrid in 2011; it was not a bad move, but he was never going to win anything meaningful there, not with Real Madrid and Barcelona dominating that period. The Rojiblancos, driven by Diego Costa, were only able to usurp the giants last season when all their pieces fell into place.
He did win the Copa Del Rey, Europa League and the UEFA Super cup, but anyone could win those. The best players need to win the biggest trophies, and so far, Falcao has failed to do so. His most meaningful trophy is the Primera Liga title which he won with Porto.
Falcao was always coveted by the biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City have all tried to sign the forward. He could have gone to any club he wanted, he snubbed Chelsea to win small cups with Atletico. When he got the opportunity to leave, he surprised the world and chose to go to Monaco.
Now, let’s just pause for a moment here. Monaco? A club which has spent more time languishing in France‘s second division than anyone cares to remember. Again, I won’t bother with stats. Monaco are simply a mediocre outfit which has fallen from glory, probably never to return.
Why he would snub the biggest clubs in the world to sign for Monaco is nothing short of ludicrous. He didn’t set the world alight there either; he only made 22 appearances for the club, scoring a pretty decent 13 goals.
The football Gods have again blessed Falcao with an escape, but what does he do? He decides to play for United. The Red Devils have fallen from grace; after the retirement of Sir. Alex Ferguson, they have been extremely dismal. No one fears them anymore, and they have dropped so many points at home that clubs enjoy playing at Old Trafford.
The hiring of Louis van Gaal has done little to change the mentality at the club. He has been in charge of four games so far, and he has failed to win any of them. Maybe he needs time, but plain and simple, he isn’t going to win anything meaningful this season.
Falcao has made another poor choice. He will probably go on to score a bunch of goals for United this season, but I highly doubt that they will matter. His addition will certainly improve the club, as they look set to finish fifth now.
The forward is already 28, and he does not have much time remaining at the top. He should be trying to win a major trophy before he bows out, but he keeps proving that he is nothing more than a mercenary.
He should have made a better decision. When the sun sets on his career, he will probably be remembered as the best striker who didn’t win the big ones.