The hottest footballer on the planet right now? Radamel Falcao of Atletico Madrid, who keeps reminding everyone that big matches and trophy matches are his cup of tea, with his performance in the Super Cup leading to the obvious transfer rumors – Chelsea, Manchester City, Anzhi, PSG or even, Real Madrid.
The last one is a bit of a controversy right now in Madrid, courtesy of Falcao’s father. While the offers or simply just the interest from the richest clubs in the world, known to be big spenders in recent times, seems all but natural, especially from Chelsea who were hammered by a Falcao hat-trick in the European Super Cup on Friday, the Real Madrid one smells like trouble.
Family and agents don’t always do things in the best interest of the player, or just have misguided notions of what’s good for them. Saying to the Spanish press that Falcao is eyeing a January transfer isn’t the worst thing in the world. Atletico chief executive, Miguel Angel Gil Marin, has said that in the long run, it will be impossible for his club and for the rest of the European teams that don’t belong into the financial elite to hold on to their biggest stars. But crossing the street? Betrayal?
Falcao reacted quickly to minimize the damage done, saying all he dreams about is winning titles with Atletico and taking Colombia to the World Cup. All the talk about a transfer to Chelsea or Manchester City this January or in the summer, for now, is nothing but talk. Eventually, the FIFA Fair Play regulations, which UEFA are pretty sure they’ll be able to enforce, will have to stop the big spending at a certain point. And while holding on to Falcao, who cost Atletico €40 million just over a year ago to bring from Porto, isn’t the most financially beneficial idea, the club are hoping that a change in the TV payment structure in Spain in the near future will somehow help them hold on to their biggest star.
It’s a losing battle. Falcao has been one of the most prolific scorers in European football since arriving from River Plate in 2009, scoring 114 goals in 140 matches through the leagues and the cups, winning a league title with Porto and two Europa League trophies with Porto and Atletico, scoring in both finals he played in, while setting new scoring records for the competition.
He very well may be the best striker in the world right now, and definitely the best one not playing for a Champions League side except for Neymar. Whether he wants to stay for Atletico, dream about Real and think about the Premier League, it’s safe to say that unless major changes occur, Falcao won’t be playing for Atletico Madrid very long.