Radamel Falcao was one of the most prolific goal scorers in world football before his career-ending knee injury. Now with Madrid, he’s back to scoring goals after being given a second chance by Zinedine Zidane.
The “most goals in soccer history” is a player who has scored the most goals in the history of professional soccer. The player is Radamel Falcao and he is playing for Real Madrid.
In the summer, Radamel Falcao joined Rayo Vallecano.
Barcelona will face La Liga’s most prolific marksman this century outside the ‘big two’ as they try to resuscitate their already fading championship hopes on Wednesday night.
Radamel Falcao has returned to Spain after joining Rayo Vallecano, and the Colombian has a higher goals-per-game career record (0.76) than everyone in La Liga history save Cristiano Ronaldo (1.07) and Lionel Messi (0.91).
The majority of those occurred between 2011 and 2013, when Falcao established himself as one of the game’s hottest assets at Atletico Madrid.
Falcao regained form and health during two excellent seasons at Galatasaray, scoring 20 goals in 43 games, after injuries disrupted later periods with Monaco, Manchester United, and Chelsea.
Falcao has returned to the nation – and the city – that catapulted him to worldwide superstardom a decade ago. And, although he’s no longer the unstoppable force of nature he once was, he’s proven to be a highly important addition both on and off the field at the age of 35.
Rayo’s surprise signing shortly before the transfer window closed sparked panic among supporters who aren’t used to seeing such internationally recognized players – Falcao’s sole contender for the title of Rayo’s most famous player ever is Mexican striker Hugo Sanchez, who played for the club in the 1990s.
Falcao, however, lived up to the anticipation right away, scoring a thundering debut goal only 10 minutes after coming off the bench to complete a 3-0 victory against Getafe.
He then scored an injury-time winner in Bilbao to assist Athletic Club upset Athletic Club 2-1, before scoring his third goal in three games to help Cadiz defeat Cadiz 3-1.
On his Rayo Vallecano debut, Falcao scored against Getafe.
These goals not only re-established Falcao as a powerful striker, but also helped Rayo establish themselves as this season’s surprise package after their promotion through the play-offs in June.
They are fifth in the league – higher than the visitors – going into Wednesday’s match with Barca, thanks primarily to a perfect home record.
Rayo have earned fans because to their open, attack-minded playing style, which is led by manager Andoni Iraola, who is quickly emerging as Spain’s hottest young coaching prospect after a playing career that included over 500 games for Athletic Club.
In truth, Rayo’s enormous devotion was already in place, since they are seen as a very attractive club, making them the’second team’ for many Spaniards.
Rayo has doggedly opposed modernization to keep a strong sense of identity far far from the flash and glamour of Real Madrid in the trendy Chamartin sector to the north of the city center.
Rayo was the subject of a book by Robbie Dunne titled ‘Working Class Heroes,’ and he told Sport: “Rayo is the last of the neighborhood teams, and Vallecas is a working-class neighborhood. Everything, from the individuals providing beer to the spectators on the streets and the sellers inside the stadium, exudes authenticity.”
A substantial Latino influence is responsible for a large portion of that ‘genuine sense.’ Madrid is home to almost 400,000 South Americans, including 60,000 Colombians. Many of them have relocated to low-rent areas like Vallecas, which helps to explain why Falcao is not an ordinary signing at an ordinary club.
For Rayo supporters, a national icon suddenly appearing on their doorstep symbolizes more than simply football triumph. It’s also a question of pride and identity, as shown by the fact that the club sold out of Falcao’s replica jerseys last week.
“Rayo are the closest thing you’ll find to the true emotion of South American football, where mavericks and a certain element of unpredictability still rule supreme,” Dunne says of Falcao’s new team.
However, not everything is as it seems. Rayo president Raul Martin Presa is another of Spanish football’s’mavericks,’ having enraged many supporters over the course of his 11-year presidency by neglecting to enhance stadium amenities and generally treating them as an annoyance.
“At a game last season, he allowed right-wing lawmakers into the directors’ box,” Dunne continues. “He did it when there were no supporters to protest, and it was perceived as a hostile act against a proud working-class community.”
One of the peculiarities that makes Rayo such an interesting club is the combination of hate for their president and unwavering devotion to their squad, and the signing of Radamel Falcao adds even another reason to follow their fascinating journey this season.
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