If you were building the perfect striker (and you couldn't simply pick Lionel Messi), you would do well to use Radamel Falcao of Atletico Madrid as your template.
Falcao boasts a list of traits that any striker would absolutely love to possess. He has solid pace yet is proficient in the air despite standing just 5'10".
He's clever and composed on the ball.
He's a pinpoint finisher and is equally effective finishing a cross with his head, drilling a ball off the volley or creating his own shot and sending a curler into the top corner or a chip just past the outstretched hands of the keeper.
He doesn't lack for flair, and his goals are generally a triumph of control, creativity and precision.
Heck, he even has an awesome nickname. Wouldn't you want to be known as "El Tigre"? Because I would totally want to be known as El Tigre.
And few players rack up the goals quite like Falcao, which is why he is currently the most sought-after player in European football. Just ask Chelsea, which saw him score a hat trick against them in this year's Super Cup.
Falcao already has 20 goals in 17 appearances for Atletico this season. Last year, he finished with 36 goals in 50 appearances for the team, including 12 goals in Europa League play. Of course, that didn't top the record-setting 17 goals he scored in the competition the previous year for Porto.
Since coming to Europe for the 2009-10 season with FC Porto, Falcao has scored at least 29 goals in three straight seasons. Barring injury, he will easily make it four in a row.
But perhaps more than anything else, Falcao carries with him the inevitability that he'll score.
When you watch him, you simply assume he'll score with every touch. If you don't get many Atletico Madrid games on your tube, take a second to watch a Manchester United game and focus on Robin van Persie.
Like Falcao, it's not so much a matter of if van Persie will score, but rather when he'll do so. Every touch brings with it the anticipation of something marvelous happening. And more often than not, they ultimately find the back of the net.
It's a trait only the special finishers possess. Falcao. Van Persie. Messi. Cristiano Ronaldo. Zlatan Ibrahimovic. You're never surprised when they score, only when they don't.
And even though you can see the goals coming, they still often take your breath away with absolutely stunning finishes.
How many times have you watched one of the above players and thought to yourself: Jeez, I figured they would eventually score, but I didn't think they would score in such an amazing way.
That's Falcao, folks. I could continue to gush, but I think it's probably become apparent by now that he belongs on any short list of the finest strikers in the world.
And if he chooses to join the Premier League, I have no doubts that he'll dominate in England just like he did in Portugal and Spain. He's a special talent, and he'll be worth every penny if a team like Chelsea decides to splash an enormous amount of cash to land him.
He's El Tigre, after all—you know he's going to deliver the goods.
Hit me up on Twitter—my followers call me El Tigre. Okay, they don't call me that, but they should.
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