Radamel Falcao: The Pros and Cons of Signing with FC Anzhi Makhachkala
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The news is not surprising since Colombia Press reported that Falcao was named one of the greatest players in the 2011-2012 UEFA Europa League season. Falcao was awarded by UEFA for breaking Jurgen Klinsmanns' record of 15 goals for Bayern Munich.
Falcao scored 17 goals during the previous UEFA Europa League season. It does not come as a surprise that Anzhi's owner Suleyman Kerimov is expressing interest in the Colombian striker for Atletico Madrid.
The time has come to explain the pros and cons of signing with a club that is making its presence felt in Europe and the world. The purpose is to arrive at a conclusion of whether or not Falcao would benefit with an adventure in one of football's last frontier.
Russia is becoming the latest frontier in football as host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and is the home of Anzhi Makhachkala as well as Zenit St. Petersburg. Fabio Capello was appointed the coach of the Russian National Football team last summer replacing Dutch born Dick Advocaat.
Russia recently changed its format to autumn spring in order to be in step with the rest of Europe. The changes will take effect in the 2012 to 2013 Russian Premier League season.
Anzhi Makhachkala has recently signed talent from other countries such as Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto'o. Roberto Carlos eventually became the spokesperson for Anzhi in the hope of signing players from Western Europe,
Samuel Eto'o expressed his satisfaction with the Russian club as well. The owner of Anzhi Makhachkala is Suleyman Kerimov who has plenty of money to spend on signing players.
Kerimov appears to have big ambitions for Anzhi Makhachkala. Guus Hiddink was part of Kerimov's ambitious plan when he became manager of the fledgling team.
While Anzhi signing and moving to Russa is a positive sign—it seems to be the opposite. According to Gennady Fyodorov of Reuters, Igor Lebedev, who is a Deputy Speaker of the Lower House of the Russian Parliament, wants a government investigation of Russian Football Union.
Lebedev wants to include the signing of Capello and other foreign coaches in the investigation. Lebedev's reasoning is that there should be development of players at a local level.
The risk of terrorism in Makhachkala exists—there were reports of twin blasts in the town last spring according to RIA Novosti. The recent attacks which occurred last May resulted in 14 dead and 122 wounded.
According to another report by RIA Novosti with a h/t to News Track India, Anzhi decided to play their UEFA Europa League home games in Moscow. The reason was that UEFA banned matches in Dagestan (where Makhachkala is located) because of concerns for security.
Anzhi was unable to convince UEFA that the matches in Makhachkala are not affected by terrorism. The same report reveals that Anzhi Makhachkala trains their player in the Moscow area.
The case of racism and improper behavior among Russian football fans deserves mentioning. UEFA charged Russia (as well as Spain) for racial abuse during Euro 2012 according to an article in The Daily Mail.
The offer from Anzhi for Falcao appears too good to be true. Falcao should study the offer with his manager and weigh his options before committing.
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