For two seasons, Radamel Falcao’s best form completely deserted him. Previously a prolific goal scorer for FC Porto, Atletico Madrid and AS Monaco, on loan from the Ligue 1 club to Manchester United and then Chelsea, the Colombian struggled to make a positive impact in the English Premier League.
In a combined 36 Premier League appearances, he scored just five goals, whilst unable to retain full fitness. Only occasionally did he show glimpses of his predatory instincts which along with his indefatigable work rate, combined to make him one of European football’s most feared strikers.
At one point, a fine instinctive finish on just his fourth appearance for Manchester United against Everton indicated he could become a success in English football. Despite his best efforts, he was unable to build upon that good start, as Falcao returned to Monaco from Chelsea after having made just one substitute appearance in his last seven months for a side then managed by Guus Hiddink.
Rather than losing all his confidence following his disappointing and frustrating two years in England, the former River Plate striker, showed great determination and desire to re-establish himself as a key player for Monaco. He has done so, emphatically.
As well as ending his first season back in France as the third top goal scorer in Ligue 1 with 21 goals, with only Edinson Cavani and Alexandre Lacazette finding the net more often, Falcao excelled in the Champions League.
With Monaco reaching the semi-final, he scored seven times in ten appearances, including twice in the away leg of their last 16 encounter against Manchester City. His goals proved vital, as they enabled his team to advance on away goals after the tie ended 6-6 on aggregate.
The ghosts of the feared striker who scored regularly prior to his injury leading to World Cup 2014 (which he missed) did not torment Falcao but rather fueled his turnaround. He has continued to score at a great this season- he has already managed to find the back of the net 13 times in just 9 league appearances.
Now captain of Monaco, the club he initially joined from Porto in 2013, Falcao scored twice in the 6-1 destruction of Marseille. The class and confidence which he exuded prior to his disappointing spell in England has fully returned.
More than just being a great benefit to his current club Monaco and the Colombian national team as well as football in general, his resurgence serves as a timely reminder for those struggling to recover from serious injury. Work hard and put in the hours to rediscover your fitness and form but, above all, believe in yourself and you may end up a rejuvenated star like Falcao.