Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao has looked back on his difficult start to life at the club last year.
The Colombian hitman has started the new season in sensational form with seven goals in La Liga and a hat trick against Chelsea in the European Super Cup but, difficult as it is to conceive of now, there was a time when he wasn't universally popular at the Vicente Calderon.
“I am aware that there were people who doubted me, who were not convinced I was worth what was paid,” the former Porto forward – who cost Atleti €40m last summer – said in an interview with Marca.
“I had came from Portuguese football. But the murmurs were normal, the team was not playing well. It was logical.”
Falcao, who believes the Chelsea game was the best of his career 'in terms of effectiveness', also admitted there was a point this summer when he thought he may be sold.
“Yes, going by what the club said, when they said it was difficult to continue without entering the Champions League. The future was uncertain because of economic issues, but the club did a great effort and held onto almost the entire workforce.
“I have more years on my contract. Today my reality is Atletico and I cannot think of anything else.”
'El Tigre' believes goal scoring midfielders Raul Garcia and Arda Turan stop the Rojiblancos from being 'Falcao-dependent', and also praised the influence of Coach Diego Simeone.
“They are two very important players. Raul scored a lot of goals in Osasuna and is very professional. Arda is also a major player.
“What Simeone transmits is very important – energy and love for football. El Cholo has been very important in teaching us to not only play football, but to live football.”
Though he admits his desire for a third consecutive Europa League top scorer award is strong, Falcao does not disagree with Simeone's policy of resting him in the competition.
“I understand, it is good. It shows that those who play well will be given the opportunity. So everyone will be alert and available.”
Atleti are widely seen as the third best side in Spain on current form but the 26-year-old doesn't think its that straight forward.
“It's all very even. There is Malaga, and Valencia, who always fight. I don't want to forget anyone…but it will be a struggle.”
Los Colchoneros take on Viktoria Plzen in the Europa League tomorrow before meeting Malaga in La Liga at the weekend.