Monaco’s Colombian forward Radamel Falcao celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Bordeaux (FCGB) and Monaco (ASMFC) at the Matmut Atlantique Stadium in Bordeaux, southwestern France, on December 10, 2016.
ROMAIN PERROCHEAU / AFP
Colombian striker Radamel Falcao says he is back in the groove after two misfit years with first Manchester United, then Chelsea in England.
Falcao, who made his name first with Porto then Atletico Madrid by scoring hatfuls of goals, was regarded as one of the world’s top strikers when he headed to Old Trafford on loan three years ago.
But he never came to terms with the rigours of the English Premier League and an option to make the deal permanent did not materialise, either with United or with Chelsea, where he equally flopped abysmally in a side which was struggling in the final days of Jose Mourinho’s reign.
But he said Friday he “has not forgotten how to play football” even after his two years of English travails which culminated in his returning to Monaco.
Now “I am dreaming of a title with Monaco” he explained ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Paris Saint Germain.
“We are expecting much of this great match, one all players dream of being involved in. The team is ready and in a good place mentally.
“Having reached the league cup final we are very motivated” to put one over a PSG side three points behind the Monegasques, the current league leaders.
Falcao, a championship and Europa League winner with Porto — he also won the latter honour with Atletico — said the PSG game was clearly a significant step on the path to a potential first league crown since the turn of the millennium.
But “the match against PSG has the same importance as one against Nice, Lorient or Metz. If we win it then it would underpin our motivation — but much can still happen” between now and the end of the season.
“Paris are a great team with great players. They are always dangerous.”
On his own form, Falcao, 30, said he was “enjoying my best moment of the season. I play every match and feel that my game is there. I am very happy at Monaco and dream of winning titles here”.
The veteran striker conceded it would be hard to resist, even so, if a Chinese club came calling offering untold riches of the kind offered in recent months to the likes of another former United player, Argentina’s Carlos Tevez.
“It is not easy to turn down offers from China. But I have said no three times to going there. It is not easy for the club either to turn down a lot of cash — yet I feel this is an important season for my career and for the team.
“I want to win with Monaco and show I am 100 percent with the club. I dream of winning something here,” said Falcao, adding his decision to stay in Europe was not linked to potential concern about his international place.
On his time in England, Falcao said simply: “England is in the past I am only looking forward with Monaco.
“I didn’t forget how to play football. I just need to play matches, then everything comes naturally.”