Falcao: Hard for Atleti to compete

Radamel Falcao has reflected once more on his previous 12 months, as well as the difficulty Atletico Madrid have in matching the biggest clubs in Spain.

The Colombian attended the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala earlier this month and was named in the FIFA FIFPro World XI.

Speaking at the event to the organising body’s official website, Falcao’s comments have now been published.

“This year has represented a significant step forward for me. It’s been the kind of year that gets your name out there and helps you earn a place among the elite,” reflected the striker.

“Now’s the moment to keep competing just as hard, keep growing as a player and continue proving what I’ve shown so far.

“That’s what matters and it’s what I’m hoping from this year: to stay among the European elite.

“My best goal of the year? I’ve scored some lovely goals in 2012, it’s true. It’s hard to just pick one.

“I’d say two of the most eye-catching were my first goal against Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League final in Bucharest and one I scored against Valencia in the semi-finals.

“That said, it’s hard to pick to be honest because fortunately there’ve been so many!”

Falcao then reflected on Atleti’s current League position of second in the Spanish League table.

“It’s hard to compete [for the title] because of the budget some of Spain’s most powerful teams have. They’ve got the best players in the world, while we’re just gradually growing stronger as a team.

“We’re aware that it’ll be tough to claw back the lead Barcelona have, though as long as there’s still a mathematical chance we’ll keep on fighting.

“Our main objective is securing a place in the Champions League. We’re very clear on that.”

The Colombian was again pressed for a comment on his future, with speculation linking him with a number of clubs.

“I’m really at home with Atletico and I’m still under contract here.

“I’m sure that I’ll taste life in another league at some point in my career, but right now I’m only thinking about my club, in growing as a player and doing my bit to help us keep winning trophies.”

Falcao was asked of his thoughts on Carlos Valderrama comments that the striker will become more popular than he ever was.

“I realise that everything’s changed, I’m aware of the media coverage I’ve had in recent years and what I mean to my people.

“Whenever I can I try to give of myself and be approachable, though sometimes it’s just not possible. When big crowds gather, things can get complicated.”

“El Pibe [Valderrama] is the greatest idol of all of us in Colombia. We grew up admiring him and we still do.

“Let’s hope that us future generations can contribute a lot more and achieve even more than he did, because that’d definitely be good for the country. But [whatever happens], every Colombian football player will always remember him.”

Tags Colombia Falcao Valderrama