Radamel Falcao García Zárate, world famous as Radamel Falcao, or simply Falcao, plays a striker for Ligue 1 club AS Monaco, for whom he also serves as captain, and the Colombia national team. He is often called as "El Tigre" or "King of the Europa League." Here are some very interesting facts about the Colombian footballer:
He was born Radamel Falcao Garcia Zarate on February 10, 1986, in Santa Marta, Colombia, to Carmenza Zarate and Radamel Garcia. He has two sisters, Michelle Andrea Garcia Zarate and Melanie Grecia Garcia.
He is named Falcao after the great Brazilian legend, Paulo Roberto Falcao, as a tribute by his football mad father.
He is partially of English descent. His great grandfather George King emigrated from North Yorkshire village of Burn near Selby in 1932 to work as an accountant for the United Fruit Company.
He was baptized into top level football when he made his debut for Lanceros Boyaca in the Colombian Categoria Primera B on August 28, 1999 and thus became the youngest debutant.
In 2001 he was sold to Atletico River Plate Club of Argentina for a $500,000, which after devaluation was reduced to 175,000. He was inducted in to its youth team playing in the eighth division.
On March 06, 2005, he made his professional debut for the club, in a 3-1 win against Instituto de Cordoba in the Torneo Clausura and became regular in the first team.
In March 2001, he was selected to represent national under-17 team in the ‘2001 South American Under-17 Football Championship held in Peru and scored a goal in a 4-1 win against Bolivia.
He made his transient to under-20 team and participated in the 2005 South American U-20 Championship held in home soil. Colombia went on win its second title and qualified for the 2005 FUFA World Youth Championship. Falcao scored twice in three matches.
After failed negotiation with Benfica, he was sold to FC Porto, the Portuguese club on July 15, 2009, for a sum of € 3.93 million and 60% of economic rights.He scored on his debut on August 16 against Pacos Ferreira for a draw.
Falcao is one of the few to score three goals in his first three matches of Portuguese League. He ended the 2009-10,season, as second highest scorer with 25 goals in the league and total of 34 in all competitions.
On May 18, 2011, Porto lifted the ‘2011 UEFA Europa League’ title defeating fellow Portuguese club SC Braga with 44th minute goal from Falcao for 1-0 win. He rewrote the record book with 17 goals in the league surpassing the record of Jurgen Klinsmann’s 15 goals.
Although he extended his contract with Porto in July, it was announced in August 18, that Falcao was transferred to Spanish club, Atletico Madrid for € 40 million. He was then the most expensive player in the club’s history.
When Atletico Madrid won the ‘2011-12 Europa League’ title on May 09, 2012, defeating fellow Spaniard Athletic Bilbao 3-0 with double brace from Falcao, he became the first player in history to win two consecutive Europa League titles with two different teams. He once again topped the goal scoring chart with 12 goals.
Falcao’s major international tournament Colombia the ‘2011 Copa America’ in Argentina. He missed the all-important penalty kick in the quarterfinals against Peru and lost the game in extra time to be eliminated.
Falcao started the 2012-13, season with two hat-tricks and on October 21, 2012, he scored a winning goal with free-kick against Real Sociedad in the 90th minute. It was his first professional free-kick goal of his career.
On March 31, 2013, he signed-up with AS Monaco FC, for a five year contract worth around € 60 million. Although he enjoyed his stay with Atletico Madrid, he was compelled by the third party ownership, the Doyen Sports Investment.
After helping Colombia to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, for the first time since 1998, as its top goal scorer with nine goals, he withdrew from the final squad to the world cup as he failed to recover from the ACL injury which he sustained in January.
As he was recovering from the knee surgery, Falcao had an unexpected visit from Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his wife, Maria Clemencia. He described him as a symbol of the national team.
On September 02, 2014, Falcao joined Manchester United for € 6 million on loan for a year with an option for permanent transfer at the end of the season.
He made his debut for the Manchester United on September 14 sporting jersey # 9, as a substitute. He scored his first goal on October 05, in 2-1 win against Everton and went on to add three more to end his spell at the club after appearing in 29 matches.
On June 06, 2015, he scored the only goal against Costa Rica in a friendly in Buenos Aires, to become the Colombian national team’s top scorer to go past ArnoldoIguaran. He is the all-time top scorer with 28 goals.
On July 03, 2015, he agreed to take a 50% wage cut and joined Chelsea on a season-long loan. However on November 03, he picked up a muscular injury in training and was out of action for rest of the season.
He returned to Monaco FC for the 2016-17, season and was named the team captain. He scored in his first appearance in two seasons against Fenerbahce S.K on July 27, 2016.
He ended the season as club’s top scorer with 30 goals in 43 appearances in all formats as Monaco went on to wins its 8thLigue 1, title.
In the very second match of the 2017-18, season Falcao, scored a hat-trick against Dijion on August 13 and has netted 14 goals in 17 appearances so far. His form led him to being shortlisted for the Ballon D’Or 2017.
After more than a year in wilderness Falcao was recalled to the Colombia squad On November 04, 2016, for world cup qualification matches. He proved his worth by scoring two goals in four matches, as Colombia qualified for the 2018 World Cup.
On October 11, 2017, Falcao and Peru midfielder Renato Tapia have admitted discussing before the last qualifying match, the fact that a draw would suit both teams in World Cup qualification, for which he was criticized. He however denied that any deal or pact had been agreed.
He is married to Lorelei Taron, the Argentinean singer since 2007, and they have two daughters, Dominique Garcia Taron and Desiree Garcia Taron.
He is a devote Christian, a leader of religious youth group like Campeones Para Cristo, or Champions for Christ.
He has to his credit 251 goals in 418 appearances in his career playing for seven clubs as on date and 28 goals in 70 matches for the national team.