Falcao’s loan moves to the Premier League were a disaster, as he scored just five goals in two seasons, but the Colombian is now starring for La Liga’s surprise package Rayo Vallecano
He scored a remarkable 81 goals across three seasons before his loan move to Old Trafford, but his time in England turned out to be a disaster.
Falaco scored just four goals in 19 appearances in all competitions for United, who were in their first season under the management of Louis Van Gaal.
The flop was allowed to return to Monaco at the end of his loan, with Van Gaal not interested in bringing him back to Manchester.
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Former United captain Gary Neville revealed at the end of that season that he believed Falcao’s poor form had been because of a crisis of confidence.
“I don’t think it would be a surprise to anybody to see him leave. It hasn’t quite happened for this season for one reason or another,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“As a striker you rely on confidence. I don’t think he’s ever been full of confidence since he came to Manchester United.”
It was not long before the striker was back in the Premier League though, with Chelsea bringing him in on loan the summer he left Old Trafford.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho had high hopes for the Colombian star, insisting that Falcao could rescue his reputation in England.
“He is not happy that in England people think he is not as good as he is and his motivation is there,” Mourinho said at the time.
“He helped us a lot to do a deal with Monaco. So, all these things together we think we can help him and he can help us.”
Those hopes came crashing down though, with Falcao suffering a number of injury problems that led to him scoring just once for the Blues.
With his reputation having taken a huge dent following his misadventures in England, Falcao began to rebuild his career back at Monaco.
The season after leaving Chelsea, he scored 21 goals to fire Monaco to the Ligue 1 title, becoming the first team since 2012 to beat Paris Saint-Germain to top spot.
He maintained his place as a reliable goalscorer in his final two seasons in the Principality, getting on the scoresheet 40 times in that period.
Falcao left for Turkish giants Galatasaray on a free transfer in the summer of 2019, following a disappointing season for Monaco that almost saw them relegated from Ligue 1.
He made a solid start to life in Istanbul scoring 11 goals in his first season, having been greeted by a crowd of 25,000 fans on his arrival in the city.
But Falcao’s time at Galatasaray quickly fell apart, with a collision in training forcing him to undergo surgery.
He would miss 24 games in that season before agreeing to leave the club by mutual consent in September this year.
Having departed Turkey, he then returned to Spain to sign for newly-promoted Rayo Vallecano, scoring just 10 minutes into his debut for the club.
Four days after that goal against Getafe, he doubled his tally for the season, coming off the bench to score an injury-time winner against Athletic Bilbao.
His stunning start to the campaign continued against Cadiz the following week, as he scored in a 3-1 win.
Former Rayo captain Alberto Garcia believes that the attacking tactics deployed by Vallecano boss Andoni Iraola is behind Falaco’s astonishing start.
“Andoni Iraola wants an intense team, full of energy, who works hard to win the ball back when they don’t have it, and then looks to attack,” Garcia told The Athletic.
“We have already seen what Falcao can do when you put the ball in the box. The few chances that have come his way, he has shown his quality. He is an ideal player for these games, especially at home.”
Though he then went three games without scoring, Rayo boss Andoni Iraola opted to hand him a start for the visit of Barcelona.
It proved to be an inspired decision, with Falcao scoring the game’s only goal on the half-hour mark when twisted and turned past Gerard Pique before coolly firing into the far corner.
That goal also marked the end of Ronald Koeman’s time in charge of Barcelona, with the Catalan side sacking the Dutchman soon after the final whistle.
Falcao’s goals have seen Rayo sore to fifth in the La Liga table, four points ahead of struggling Barca.
And it seems that the Colombian is finally putting his challenging years in England behind him to become the star of one of La Liga’s most enjoyable teams to watch.