Atlético striker Radamel Falcao made an appearance on Radio MARCA’s ‘Intermedio’ programme on Tuesday, where he spoke about his future in red and white and his hopes of still qualifying for Champions League this season.
The 26-year-old wants to prove his Colombian countrymen wrong for doubting Atlético and for slamming him for his choice to take his talent to the Vicente Calderón last summer by lifting the Europa League title.
Below is an excerpt of ‘El Tigre’s’ interview as transcribed by MARCA here.
On the possibility of winning the Europa League
Obviously, winning it is a dream we all have, but first we have to take on Valencia and live this very exciting and beautiful moment.
It would be extra special to win Europa League with Atlético from a personal standpoint, because when I came here my decision to come to this club was much-criticised, especially in my country. To be able to win it when so many people had little faith in this squad could be a way of showing that good and important things can be done with something that doesn’t seem to be so good, and that Atlético Madrid is one of Spain’s big clubs.
On the rumours about his future
I think that speaks of the public exposure and importance of Atlético at a global level, that just goes to show that Atlético is one of Spain’s big clubs, that their players are seen at the international level. I’m trying to do things well, I have a four-year contract and I simply have that reality in mind, that I have a four-year contract.
On the possibility of qualifying for Champions League
It’s tough right now, that’s very clear, it’s six points away, but the way the competition has been and considering everyone’s irregularity, we have hope. We have to do our part and wait for other results to go our way. We’re primarily focussed on the match against Espanyol. The goal is to take it game-by-game and then we’ll see where we end up.
On comparing his statistics with former Atleti forwards Agüero and Forlán
I’ve always said that I didn’t come here to replace them nor to have them be forgotten. Rather, I came here to earn respect, to do my job, to earn a place in this club and to leave a mark. That’s what especially interests me.
On the Rojiblanco faithful
The passion the fans have; I think they are very proud of being Atleti fans, they let you know that on the street. They never hide, on the contrary.
On the whistles directed at him several weeks back at the Vicente Calderón
The truth is, I don’t know who those whistles were for. Sometimes you hear them, but we’re concentrated on the match. I heard the catcalls when we lost against Albacete, or in the match against Rennes, but those are situations that arise in football, we simply must work to improve them.
On strike partner Adrián
He’s a great player that has so much potential. He’s going to continue growing, he’s very smart and we’re going to mutually help each other out. We can complement each other. He’s such a team player and it’s clear to us that this team is composed of a group of players, and not individuals. That’s the mentality he, I and we all operate with.
On the Liga duopoly – whether Real and Barcelona are on a different level
I don’t think anyone can deny it. There’s evidence through their points and how the competition has transpired. I think that Real and Barça, without the budgets they have, would not have those squads.