Radamel Falcao has had a torrid 18 months but if he rediscovers his prodigious scoring record in UEFA competition then he could be the final piece in the Chelsea FC jigsaw.
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Radamel Falcao has become Chelsea FC's first signing of the summer, replacing Didier Drogba, as José Mourinho seeks to add more depth ahead of his next tilt at the UEFA Champions League and a place in history as the only manager to win the competition with three clubs.
Falcao has endured a torrid 18 months, first with a knee injury and then a difficult time on loan at Manchester United FC last season. Mourinho, though, believes he can rediscover the best of a forward still only 29, taking him on loan from AS Monaco FC for the 2015/16 campaign. As part of the deal, Croatia Under-21 midfielder Mario Pašalić will spend next season at Stade Louis II.
The Colombian international certainly has impressive pedigree in Europe. Since making his debut in 2009 in a 1-0 defeat for FC Porto – coincidentally against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – he has managed 38 goals in 42 appearances in UEFA competition, qualifying included. His strike record of 0.9 goals per game in UEFA club matches is an all-time record.
He won the UEFA Europa League with Porto in 2010/11 and lifted the trophy again 12 months later with Club Atlético de Madrid, finishing top scorer in both campaigns. He also registered in both finals, hitting the only goal in 2011 against SC Braga and two as Atlético overwhelmed Athletic Club 3-0.
Falcao went one better in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup, firing a hat-trick as Atleti swept aside then UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea 4-1. Incredibly, though, he has made just two outings in UEFA competition since, most recently Atlético's UEFA Europa League round of 32 victory at FC Rubin Kazan on 21 February 2013. He scored, of course.