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Monaco complete swoop for Falcao

updated 3:02 PM EDT, Fri May 31, 2013
Colombian striker Radamel Falcao fired Atletico Madrid to Spanish Cup triumph earlier this month.
Colombian striker Radamel Falcao fired Atletico Madrid to Spanish Cup triumph earlier this month.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Radamel Falcao signs for Monaco after he was linked with, among others, Real Madrid
  • Falcao has scored 28 goals this season, helping Atletico win the Spanish Cup
  • Earlier in May, Monaco signed Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez for $100 million

(CNN) -- French club Monaco have served further notice of their intent to challenge at the top of world football by completing the signing of Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao.

The five-year deal for the Colombian, who has found the net 28 times for Spanish Cup winners Atletico in the league this season, is the latest in a series of high-profile acquisitions by the newly promoted principality club. The transfer fee wasn't disclosed by Monaco, but it was reported to be almost $80 million.

"I'm very happy to join AS Monaco and very happy to wear these new colors," Falcao said in a video message on Monaco's Web site.

Earlier this month Monaco's owner Dmitry Rybolovlev -- worth $9.1 billion, according to Forbes -- funded the transfers of Porto pair Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez for $90 million.

Read: Double swoop

When Rybolovlev acquired a majority stake in the club in December 2011, Monaco were bottom of the French second tier.

Italian coach Claudio Ranieri guided the team to the Ligue 2 title and will be expected to lead his expensively assembled squad towards the upper echelons of French football and, ultimately, into continental competition.

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"We are absolutely delighted that Radamel Falcao has accepted the challenge of coming to play for AS Monaco FC," Rybolovlev told the club's Web site. "We are proud to have secured one of the best players in the world and confident that he will help ASMFC regain its rightful status."

The signing of Falcao is a major coup for the seven-time French champions.

The 27-year-old arrived in European football from Argentina's River Plate in 2009 and went on to score 41 goals in 51 games for Porto as the Portuguese team won the Europa League.

The Santa Marta-born forward moved to the Spanish capital in 2011 and his goals helped Atletico clinch the Europa League crown in 2012.

Falcao's stock rose considerably after he scored a hat-trick against Champions League winners Chelsea in the 2012 European Super Cup, played at Monaco's Stade Louis II Stadium.

He had been linked with a switch to Atletico's city rivals Real Madrid as well as a host of other illustrious European clubs.

Falcao's status for Atletico's final game of the season, at Zaragoza on Saturday, wasn't known.

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