It happened late at night. On the last day of the crazy transfer window we knew, news broke on one of the Spanish sites thatRadamel Falcao, He and no other, summed up his terms for two years in … Rayo Vallecano. At first the story sounds too good to be true, as another journalistic duck of the summer. A few hours later and even Rayo’s most pessimistic fans were already beginning to realize it was really happening. The football legend from Colombia landed a few days later in southern Madrid.
The most surprising story of the summer rewrites itself every week. Only 10 minutes and 24 seconds passed on the clock, until Falcao found his first goal in the Spanish league, since June 2013. El Tigre scored the third against Hattafa (0: 3) and already kissed the sergeant on the shirt, with the crowd never stopping to cheer and call on the name of The new king. Three days later at San Mames, the Tiger devoured the Bilbao Lions with a deep winning goal in overtime (1: 2) after once again rising as a substitute. Last Sunday, the formidable striker had already started for the first time in the squad, scoring his third in three games and giving his 1: 3 lead over Cadiz.
After seven rounds, Rayo Vallecano, the smallest team in La Liga, finds itself in fifth place in the table with 13 right goals (second in conquests only for Real Madrid) and 13 points (about a third of what it takes to survive). You will not find one who genuinely believes Andoni Areola’s team will end up with a ticket to Europe at the end of the season, but for those who barely qualified through the playoffs for the Premier League and were marked as relegated, Falcao’s quick integration and impressive scoring rate adds a lot of confidence and optimism to an exciting season.
The pleasant surprise of Spain (Getty)
Falcao is already 35 years old and does not carry the famous mane of hair, which became his trademark when he bombed 70 goals in 91 games in all competitions in two magical years at Atletico Madrid (2011-2013), helping her win the Copa del Rey and the Europa League, marking her rise to Spanish and world greatness . Who was then considered one of the best pioneers in the world, failed to maintain this status after the move to Monaco money. He knew serious injuries that took his career a few steps back, did not adapt to the questions at Manchester United and Chelsea, returned to the French team with which he won the championship and traveled to Turkey.
In his two years at Glatsray, Falcao maintained a nice average, but played barely 33 league games (and punched the net 19 times). The reason why he left is not related to ability, but to the fact that the team from Istanbul could no longer pay him the salary following the corona crisis and decided to cancel his contract. At the end of August, Mario Suarez, Rayo’s midfielder, who played for Falcao during his heyday at Atletico, picked up the phone to his Colombian friend and offered to return to Madrid again. The club’s unpopular president, Raoul Martin Persa, who is in constant conflict with the team’s fans, was enthusiastic about the idea of landing a aging star for free – and the deal went through.
With all due respect to his vision, Falcao’s motivation to come to the humble club does not end with geography and the family’s desire to live in comfortable Madrid again. Al Tigre, who chose the No. 3 shirt played by his late father Radmel Garcia, hoped to reach a place that would give him a central enough stage to return to being a factor in the Colombian national team and represent the country in the Qatar World Cup in 2022. Most recently, Falcao has failed to rise to 11th in any of his team’s games. In the shape he is in at the moment, this may well change, if only he maintains the health line.
The hair is also not as it used to be (Getty)
The older Rayo fans remember the last time a player of this size landed in the tiny, unpretentious club. It was Hugo Sanchez, the legend of Real Madrid and the Mexican national team, who joined Vicano in 1993. The former striker allowed 16 goals that season, but was unable to prevent the team from dropping out of the second division. If Falcao, who has promised to give fans “goals and great joy”, continues at this pace, he is even capable of surpassing the Mexican, and helping his vision survive.
Falcao’s name goes before him, just not just because of his humble personality and performance on the football fields. The Colombian striker is armed with a battalion of tens of millions of fans on social media and is considered the second most popular player in the Spanish league on Twitter (over 17 million followers) after Gerard Pique from Barcelona. At a time when La Liga is sadly losing its best stars, Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar at the top of the list, it will not hurt her to shed new-old blood of the Falcao type. Even at his advanced age, in a neighborhood group and after quite a few treatments, he manages to excite millions of fans. And that’s not a trivial matter.
Goal: Team (Getty)