This summer has seen one of the longest running transfer sagas in many years, the case of former Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao Garcia or Falcao to me and you.
The Colombian hitman joined Atleti in the summer of 2011 August the 18th to be exact he became the most expensive signing in the clubs history agreeing to sign from then Europa League winner and Portuguese champions FC Porto for a club record fee of €40m with an additional €10m clause dependent on success. That is exactly what he got with his two-year spell at the Vicente Calderon.
In his two-year stint with Los Rojiblancos he became an instant favourite with the fans, add to that an outstanding goal record of 52 goals in 67 appearances, meant he was a favourite with the fans and his teammates, but also a vital member of the Atletico team and their main source of goals. Along with the goals the trophies came for both Falcao himself and Atletico as a team, in his 1st season Atleti won both the Europa League, with a win over fellow La Liga side Athletic Bilbao with a 3-0 win in Bucharest, of which Falcao got two goals and was name Man of the Match, he also finished top goalscorer in the tournament with 12 goals.
In the Colombian’s 2nd season and which would turn out to be his last in the red and white of Atletico, the predator Falcao again proved his worth to Diego Simeone’s side, on the 31st of August Atleti would take on Chelsea the European Champions in the UEFA Super Cup which Atletico won 4-1 and the brilliant Falcao bagged a magnificent hat trick and in general put in an outstanding match wining performance, that night he caught a lot of clubs attention, which seen him play the rest of the season with his future unsure, he was also part of the Atleti side that won the Copa Del Rey against great rival Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, of course he would play his part setting up Diego Costa from the equalising goal which resulted in Atleti winning the game 2-1 in extra time and their 1st victory over Madrid since 1999.
Despite after all those goals and assists and personal awards with Atleti it became clear the Colombian would be moving on, Atleti not in the best position in a financial sense would decide to cash in, rumours were rife that he would sign for Real Madrid and join the new Chelsea revolution under former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, in fact so much so German publication Bild were almost certain he would be moving to West London, there was even talk in certain quarters he would join Manchester Utd, Manchester City or even Paris-Saint German.
Although the shock was yet to come, on the 31st of May 2013 Atletico announced their star man would be infact joining newly promoted Ligue 1 side Monaco in a deal which is believed to be worth, anywhere from €45m-€60m and a reported salary of €14m per year, many eyebrow were raised and questions asked of why he did not decide to move to a club competing in the UEFA Champions League, he said he is moving to Monaco to ” Follow in the footsteps of his Idol Thierry Henry” yet some seem convinced the move is money motivated and that his contract has an exit clause that would allow him to return to La Liga at the end of next season and join Real Madrid this has been since denied by Monaco.
In his farewell Press conference at the Vicente Calderon, Falcao was very emotional showing tears, with the realisation he was leaving a club which he described himself given him ” The best time of his Career.”
Regardless now both Falcao and Atleti will move on into next season with optimism, one thing is for sure in this love-love relationship between both club and player, Radamel Falcao Garcia will always have a place in the heart of all Atletico Madrid fans.