Radamel Falcao has had a somewhat zigzag career path but today he is the star player in the Monaco team. The Ligue 1 man has faced several stumbling blocks on the path here but for footballers there are many factors beyond their control.

Falcao is one of the proven top strikers in the last decade, playing competitive football across Europe. He has shown that truly form is temporary and class is permanent. The Columbia international was born in Santa Marta – the same city where one of the country’s best soccer players Carlos Valderrama was born. He was born into football, been named after Pulo Roberto Falcao and hearing of the great Valderrama growing up.

His Father Radamel Sr. was also a football player, playing in the centre back role. The family moved to Venezuela while Falcao was young as his father tried to manage expectations. Venezuela was more into baseball than soccer, well even till date. When the family returned to the Columbian capital, football reigned again. He quickly picked it up and started attracting attention.

He played in the Primera B as a young boy but then he made the headlines when he became the youngest player to feature in Columbian football at age 13 years and 199 days. He kept at it until he moved to the big guns River Plate. He studied on the side while he played and made the ranks at his new club. He soon picked up major injury and strained it further. With his consistency it became obvious that he was not a one season wonder.  He featured for Benfica and Porto, further proving his capabilities.

Atletico Madrid was the big leap as he moved to Spain. The well-travelled player was consistency scoring all through despite the hiccups along the way. He was spectacular in the 2011/12 season where he scored 36 goals in 50 games, helping the club to the Europa League title. They defeated Chelsea 4-1 in the UEFA Super Cup after the Blues won the Champions League.

Despite the exploits of Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero, Falcao eclipsed them. Several top interests in him he preferred to move to Monaco. He got injured and it affected him. He came on to Manchester United in England, yet another country but he could not recover. He was ridiculed as his history spoke so highly of him. At Chelsea, it was the same. He scored once in 12 games at Stamford Bridge compared to the poor tally of four goals in 29 games at United.

Then he returned to Monaco where he has rebuilt his reputation. He recently scored a 50-yard stunner for the club he skippers. He has had a zigzag career but he remains of one the most lethal strikers of the last decade.

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