Radamel Falcao has no regrets about moving to the Premier League, despite the fact he was a total flop at both Manchester United and Chelsea.
The Colombian striker was the envy of world football while banging in goals for Porto and Atletico Madrid, but his powers seemed all but depleted by the time he moved to England in 2014. He joined United on loan from Monaco amid much fanfare, but managed a mere four goals in 29 miserable appearances.
His woeful return didn't stop Chelsea taking a punt on him the following season, though he fared even worse in west London, ending the campaign with just one goal in 12 games. After returning to Monaco in 2016, Falcao claimed there were a lot of positives to take from his two loan spells, despite how torrid and forgettable they were.
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"I had the opportunity to play in the Premier League, and I did it. I have kept the positive things of that experience," he said. "I developed as a player but also as a man."
Falcao's move to England was preceded by a serious knee injury, which kept him out for much of his debut season in Ligue 1. Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim criticised his decision to go to United and Chelsea, arguing that he should have been focusing on his fitness, rather than testing himself in new environments.
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"Falcao's problem wasn't only his knee injury but also that he left to go and play elsewhere for two seasons, in Manchester and then at Chelsea," Jardim said in 2016. "He tried to continue playing at a high level when normally when you have an injury like that, you stay at your club to try and get back quickly."
Falcao initially caught the eye with River Plate before sealing a career-altering move to Porto in 2009. He bagged 34 goals in his debut season in Portugal before following it up with a 38-goal campaign, which ended with an unbeaten title win and a Europa League triumph.
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That summer he moved to Atletico Madrid, and established himself as one of the most fearsome strikers on the planet by continuing his goalscoring form, netting 70 times in two seasons in the Spanish capital. He was heavily linked with moves to the Premier League, as well as to the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, throughout his spell at Atletico, but surprised a few faces by signing for newly-minted Monaco instead in 2013.
After returning to Monaco following his stints in England, Falcao's hot goalscoring form resumed. He scored 30 goals alongside a young Kylian Mbappe as Monaco won Ligue 1 and reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2017, and netted a further 40 goals over the next two season before leaving for Galatasaray in 2019.
He then spent two years in Turkey before sealing a move back to Spain with Rayo Vallecano in 2021. The 37-year-old is still going strong at the club, and has four goals to his name in 10 appearances so far this season.
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