Spanish television show “Punto Pelota” announced late Sunday that Atlético striker Radamel Falcao would be making a guest appearance Monday evening, hyping up the Golden Ball nominee’s visit with a great deal of fanfare.
Before the cameras, the impeccably dressed Rojiblanco idol very deftly handled the questions of the hosts of the Madrid-based football programme in spite of the, at times, on-the-witness-stand nature of the inquiries.
‘El Tigre’, with his characteristic gentlemanly charm and serene demeanor, did not fall into any of the many traps flung his way by the very openly pro-Real Madrid co-hosts of the show who seemed desperate to kidnap our star and take him to the Bernabéu immediately, or at the very least, get him to confess he’s dying to move across town and join our bitter rivals.
Early into the broadcast, the 26-year-old showed his sentimental side as he was brought to tears when shown a video of himself being interviewed as a very young footballer. He admitted that he was overwhelmed with emotion.
The highlights of the appearance:
What do you think about Simeone not being included among the candidates for ‘Coach of the Year’?
He did a lot to deserve to be included. He didn’t have time to prepare last year and he jump-started the machine immediately. Thanks to him we were one point away from qualifying for Champions League. It’s a shame he wasn’t recognised.
What would you highlight about Atleti?
The Calderón is very exciting because of the passion transmitted by the fans. It’s beautiful to play there.
You could have left in the summer. Why did you stay?
A lot of factors were involved. Gil Marín told me that if we did not qualify for Champions it would be difficult. They made a very big effort to retain me.
Are you friends with any Real Madrid players?
I played with Higuaín at River. We have a very good relationship because I would drive him to practice. At that time he didn’t have a driving licence and I had just gotten mine. It was dangerous…[laughs].
Have you forbidden your father from talking about your future?
Parents sometimes talk and give their opinions and that’s it. I haven’t lived with my father in 12 years. I have become a man and he hasn’t been involved in that process at times. He doesn’t live with me, so he wouldn’t know what my dreams and objectives are.
When you were at River Plate you said your favourite clubs were AC Milan and Real Madrid…
Obviously, young players like the teams that win. I could have also said Manchester United, Madrid, teams that tend to compete for league titles.
You know that Real Madrid fans love you and want you right?
I’m happy with the love I get from Atleti fans.
Do you think of a future out of Atlético?
I’m not thinking about leaving at this moment. I never think about leaving Atlético. That’s not on my mind.
Can you see yourself paired up in the attack with Cristiano?
I don’t think about that and I can’t see myself next to him. It would be bad for me and for my stability. I have to have my mind set on Atleti. It is my only reality.
Do you know him?
We’ve run into each other because we have the same agent. He’s a nice person.
How did the free kick come about?
As a youngster I would always take them and I never stopped. I had been practising them a lot in training. I went to grab the ball. I was convinced that I could do it well.