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Radamel Falcao

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Radamel Falcao is one of the world's most prolific strikers

Radamel Falcao is one of the world's most prolific strikers

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images

Radamel Falcao is best known for his staggering goals total in the 20010-11 Europa League. His tally of 17 surpassed Jurgen Klinsmann's previous record of 15 in European competition, set in the 1995-96 UEFA Cup with Bayern Munich.

An excellent header of the ball, and deadly finisher on the ground, Atletico Madrid swooped to sign him from Porto in August 2011 for a fee that could reportedly rise to US$67 million depending on variable factors.

Quick Facts:

  • Name: Radamel Falcao García Zárate
  • Nationality: Colombian
  • Date and Place of Birth: February 10, 1986 in Santa Marta, Colombia
  • Position: Striker
  • Current Club: Porto (Portuguese League)
  • Previous Clubs: River Plate (2005-2009)
  • International Career: 2007 to present
  • The Early Years:

    After catching the eye in youth soccer in Bogota, "El Tigre" (The Tiger) was offered a trial by Argentinean giants River Plate and impressed.

    Being only 14, he found life hard in a big city far away from his family but persistence paid off and he made his debut at the age of 20, scoring two goals in his first start.

    Falcao was scoring with regularity until sustaining a serious knee injury in 2006. He returned to form and fitness in 2007, scoring a hat-trick against Botafogo and bagging his first goal against fierce rivals Boca Juniors.

    His goals helped River to the 2008 Clausura title, and he resided at the top of the club’s goalscoring charts before Porto came calling in July 2009.

    Taking Portugal by Storm:

    Falcao hit the ground running in Portugal after a US$5.5 million move, and finished his first season as the league’s second top scorer with 25 goals.

    A goal in the cup final win over Grupo Desportivo Chaves meant he finished the campaign with 34 goals in all competitions.

    The following season, as Porto swept all before them, Falcao was less prolific in the league, instead saving his best for the Europa League and setting that incredible record. Falcao was a prominent figure as the club won the League, Cup and Europa League treble.

    Revelation in Spain:

    The striker also excelled after moving to La Liga. Twelve goals helped his side win their second Europa League title in three years and he also hit the ground running in the league, netting 24 times in just 33 starts to quickly become one of the most feared strikers in Spain and prove that he could operate in one of the best leagues in the world.

    International Career:

    Falcao netted his first goal for Colombia in a 1-0 friendly win over Montenegro in 2007. Most of his goals have come in friendly matches, but he scored two against Bolivia in the 2011 Copa America (he also missed a decisive penalty as his team was eliminated by Peru in the quarter finals) and Colombia appear to have found themselves a prolific marksmen for several years to come.

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