Colombian striker Radamel Falcao told newspaper El Espectador on Friday how happy he was to be nominated for FIFA’s Balon d’Or 2013 award for the world’s best soccer player, despite his belief that he will not win.
Falcao, who plays for AS Monaco in the French Ligue 1, said that it was an important personal achievement to be nominated for the list of the best players of the world for the second time in a row. Last year he came fifth, behind Argentine Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Spain and Barcelona stars Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.
The annual award is based on votes by coaches and captains of international teams, as well as journalists from around the world.
“I am happy!” Falcao told El Espectador. “Just being nominated is a big achievement, but of course because of how the season has gone so far I know that I am still not one of the contenders to win the award. I hope I will be able to do everything I can to fight for this award in the future.”
The Colombian player was a big-money signing this summer – moving to Monaco from Atletico Madrid for $80 million to become the most expensive Colombian ever. He elevated his former club Atletico Madrid into consistent title challengers, scoring 70 goals in just 91 appearances, and has already scored 8 times for Monaco in 11 games.
Since arriving in Europe from Argentine side River Plate four years ago, “El Tigre” has scored at the frankly absurd rate of 0.83 goals per game, which translates to 150 goals in 179 games. Interestingly, his goal rate is exactly the same as Messi’s at Barcelona. Ronaldo scores at the comparatively meagre rate of 0.63 goals per game; although since moving to Real Madrid he has scored more than a goal per game.
Monaco sorely missed Falcao on Wednesday night, losing 1-0 to Reims in the French League Cup, and there are rumors that the predatory striker may be leaving the French club in January to join Balon d’Or contenders Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at Real Madrid.
The club’s president Florentino Perez said on Spanish television in October that Falcao “was keen to come to Madrid,” a claim denied by Monaco president Vadim Vasilyev.
“We made a big effort to bring him here and it makes no sense for him to leave, either in the winter, the summer or whenever,” Vasilyev said.
Falcao’s goals have delivered the UEFA Europa League championship to both of his last two clubs, Porto and Atletico, and this year took Colombia to their first World Cup finals since 1998.
Playing for the Colombian team in the World Cup has always been Falcao’s big dream, which will be realized next year at Brazil 2014.
“This is what I was waiting for: playing in the World Cup! I am very satisfied after qualifying for the World Cup with our team – now we need to prepare ourselves for this challenge. I think we have a great team of players and we expect to be in good shape for the competition,” he said.
- Radamel Falcao: es un logro haber sido nominado al Balón de Oro (El Espectador)