Club Atlético de Madrid's inspiration in the final, Falcao has become the first player to take back-to-back top scorer honours in the UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup.
Article top media content
Falcao has become the first player to take back-to-back top scorer honours in the UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup, winning this season's award outright courtesy of his two goals in Club Atlético de Madrid's 3-0 final victory against Athletic Club.
The Colombia striker hit a season record of 17 last term as FC Porto captured the trophy and while he switched to Atlético a few months later, it has not tempered his love affair with this competition. He struck 12 in the Spanish side's triumphant run, as well as two assists, to finish two goals ahead of FC Schalke 04's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar atop the list of highest scorers.
Like Falcao, third-placed Adrián López was also ever-present for Atlético in the competition proper, scoring eight goals to add to the three he mustered in four outings in qualifying and the play-offs.
2011/12 UEFA Europa League top scorers
12 Falcao – Club Atlético de Madrid
10 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar – FC Schalke 04
8 Adrián López – Club Atlético de Madrid
7 Matías Suárez – RSC Anderlecht
7 Fernando Llorente – Athletic Club
With 29 UEFA Europa League goals in 29 games over the last two seasons, Falcao is now second on the competition's all-time list and keeping exalted company – he stands just two behind top-ranked Henrik Larsson.
Nineteen players have scored 20 goals or more in the competition and Falcao's remarkable goals-per-game ratio is bettered by only one other name among this number – Jupp Heynckes, now coach of FC Bayern München. He hit 23 goals in 21 outings in the UEFA Cup for VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, including a final hat-trick when they defeated FC Twente in 1975.
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League all-time top scorers
31 Henrik Larsson – Feyenoord, Celtic FC, Helsingborgs IF
29 Falcao – FC Porto, Club Atlético de Madrid
29 Dieter Müller – 1. FC Köln, VfB Stuttgart, FC Girondins de Bordeaux
26 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar – sc Heerenveen, AFC Ajax, FC Schalke 04
25 Alessandro Altobelli – FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus