Argentine striker Lionel Messi broke Gerd Muller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year on December 9th, but although that was a crucial date in football history, it may have overshadowed something equally as important.
Atletico Madrid star Radamel Falcao has once again reminded us of his claim that he will soon be the best striker in the world after leading the squad to a historic 6-0 victory over Deportivo la Coruna. The game was yet another demonstration of his undisputed talent on the pitch. Of Atletico’s 6 goals, the 26-year old Colombian found the back of the net 5 times as Atletico Madrid demolished Deportivo la Coruna.
Diego Costa opened the scoring with a header for Atletico on the 23rd minute, but the spotlight was completely on Falcao for the remainder of the match.
Falcao recorded his 1st of the match on the 28th minute after slotting the ball past the goalkeeper’s reach and into the bottom-left corner from the right. His 2nd, which was probably the goal of the match, was scored from just outside the box 3 minutes before the end of the 1st half. His powerful shot went right past the diving goalkeeper and skimmed the right post as he netted the ball once again, putting Atletico up 3-0 at half time.
The first 20 minutes of the 2nd half had remained fairly quiet until Falcao completed his hat trick. Falcao stepped up to take the penalty kick, which found the bottom-right corner as Deportivo goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia dove left. Just 4 minutes later, the striker found a 4th after he easily headed the ball in following the goalkeeper’s deflection.
Falcao put an end to the Atletico-dominated show as he took advantage of Deportivo’s terrible defense to score his 5th and final goal of the game. Despite the large number of defenders marking Falcao, from inside the box, Falcao slotted a shot that took a deflection off of the goalkeeper but still went in the goal, ending the game in a shocking 6-0 win for Atletico Madrid.
As a result of this historic match, Falcao was named the 1st player to score 5 in a La Liga game since the 2001-02 season. With 17 in total, Falcao is currently the 2nd top goalscorer in La Liga, behind only Lionel Messi (who has 25 goals) and a shocking 3 goals ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
But although Messi has scored more than Falcao this season, he has also played more games. Messi has scored 30 goals in 23 games, which gives him an average of about 1.3 goals per match. Falcao has a similar average of about 1.27 goals per match thanks to 19 goals in 15 games. Therefore, at this rate, Falcao could threaten Messi’s newly set record in 2013.
Falcao has been very hard to beat this season, slotting in goals from all distances, positions, and angles, and he seems to be improving with every year. Because of his newly established popularity, we will most likely see Falcao leave Atletico for another team when the Transfer Market opens in January.
Reigning European Champions Chelsea and Spanish Champions Real Madrid are hoping to buy the Colombian International for themselves, especially because of their lack of success in their respective leagues this season. His game with Deportivo, in which he hit 5 goals, has surely opened their eyes to the significance of acquiring the striker.
Still-undefeated Barcelona stand atop La Liga with 46 points from their 15-1-0 record. Atletico Madrid are in 2nd place 6 points behind Barcelona and have an astonishing record of 13 wins, 1 draw, and 3 losses. Meanwhile, Real Madrid are trailing in 3rd with 33 points from their terrible 10-3-3 record. If results hold, this will be the first time since the 2003-04 season that Real Madrid haven’t gotten in the top 2 of the Spanish League.