Radamel Falcao and the curse of England: The Story
Flair, Shooting, Finishing and Injury.
The decline of Radamel Falcao is one of the toughest things to believe. A superstar whose career started with the potentials and abilities to become one of the best has come to a halt. The Colombian International is on a loan spell with Chelsea after completing a failed loan spell with Manchester United.
Guus Hiddink, the interim manager of the Chelsea recently declared “Falcao’s injury is very serious” and has refused to put a date on when the striker may return to action. Chelsea have all but decided to get rid of the striker by the end of the season and a “No Recall” statement from AS Monaco has already put a question about the player’s career.
With 4 goals and 2 assists in the past season for the Red Devils and just an equalizer for Chelsea against Crystal Palace, it’s a sure fact that he going through the darkest patch of his career. The goals have dried up. Repeated injuries have made his life miserable.
His lack of form and inabilities in goal scoring made it tough for him to be a first-team pick. The striker celebrated his 30th birthday on 10th Feb with a big question about continuing his career at the highest level.
A talent ruined by the Pursuit of Money
Falcao continued his underwhelming performance with the Chelsea side after being paid a ridiculous amount of $140,000 a week. He is like an expired lifesaving drug, which has become a poisonous harmful element. His presence in the field is nothing more than just “an average player”, even worst in some cases.
The Colombian’s clever runs through the middle of the opponent centre backs which were delightful to watch are currently missing. A striker once with a formidable ability to be present in the right place at the right time is finding it difficult to even be in the first team.
His repetitive injuries made his career disharmonic. He belongs to the rare breed of forward who can contribute in both brands of play. Whether it be a short passing and dynamic teams like FC Porto or a direct fast pace team like Atletico Madrid, he was the “jack of all trades”. And his natural ability to score goals in any formation or in any style made him one of the sought after player in the world.
His Monaco move was for the huge pay package with a little chance to win any remarkable title in Europe. Though a loan move to Manchester United apparently appeared to be beneficial both for his career and the club, but it turned out to be another failure.
The move to Chelsea turned out be a replica of the move to Old Trafford. The only thing that mattered was the high wage. Though playing under one of the best manager in the world, Jose Mourinho, his career failed to resurrect. Whenever he played for Chelsea, it seemed like the Blues were playing with 10 men.
With a star-filled Chelsea line-up, with the likes of Diego Costa and Loic Remy fighting for the lone striker’s position, Falcao’s off form was definitely going to result in his ousting from the starting XI. His choice of Big Pay Day over success can safely be said as a reason for his downfall.
Was the move to EPL a good decision?
EPL is considered as the best and entertaining football league all over the globe. And being one the deadliest strikers in the world, it was obvious that Falcao would make a move. Besides money, the high chance of winning a European trophy also attracted the Colombian to England. His career was nothing more than those “Big Money Moves” with a little achievement as far the contemporary top strikers were concerned.
Falcao previously played in those leagues where the competition was limited but the brand of football was difficult to play. Both the Portuguese league and the Spanish League consists of teams which mostly follow the “Pass and Move” tactics.
Atletico Madrid under Diego Simone played a swift and paced counter attacking game with no nonsense passing. This helped Falcao to adapt both the style of game, the passing style of FC Porto as well as pace and counter-attacking football of Atletico Madrid.
But in England, the conditions were pretty much different. The competition was fiercer and teams were more dependent on physicality than skill or passing. Though LVG’s Manchester United followed the same principle of “Pass and Move” but was not effective as most of it was sidewards or backwards.
Moreover, Falcao’s off form couldn’t help the team as well as the style and thus ended the season with just 4 goals to his name.
The move to Chelsea was yet another trademark money splash move. It was yet another off-field wrong time move of a player whose on-field rightly timed runs were so much popular. Had Falcao chosen the Blues at a different time, then things would have been completely different both for the club as well as his career.
The most important thing about time is that it changes. Radamel Falcao is an example of this feature of the time. A player who was once considered as among the best in the world now has a big question mark on the longevity his career. Falcao belongs to those race of players who are filled with individual brilliance yet underachieved due to wrong decisions.
Time will tell whether the 30 years old Colombian Superstar will reinvent himself or it will be yet another disappointing career to see.
Hope Dies Last.Published 14 Feb 2016, 23:04 IST