Falcao: It’s hard to compete with Spain’s elite

FIFA :    2012 was anything but a run-of-the-mill year for Radamel Falcao, with the Atletico Madrid and Colombia striker making full use of his vast armoury of penalty-area expertise to become, according to both the media and his fellow professionals, one of the most-feared goal-getters on planet football.

Solid proof of that statement came with his inclusion in the FIFA/FIFPro World XI for 2012, announced at the recent FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala on 7 January in Zurich.

The prolific 26-year-old was still clearly thrilled by the news, as he told FIFA.com: “Being involved in an event like this is a very positive experience for my life and my career. It means a lot to get recognition for all the work I’ve put in throughout the year.”

What’s more, Falcao can also point to being the only member of the select XI not on the books of Real Madrid or Barcelona. Over the course of the year, the man nicknamed El Tigre grabbed decisive goals in Atleti’s triumphs in both the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup. In addition, he has helped Los Colchoneros become Barça’s closest La Liga challengers so far in 2012/13 and his country to stay on track for a place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.