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Radamel Falcao: Everything you need to know

By Tom McGowan, CNN
updated 7:17 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
Colombian Radamel Falcao stole most of the headlines on the final day of the transfer window after joining English Premier League club Manchester United on loan from French club Monaco. Colombian Radamel Falcao stole most of the headlines on the final day of the transfer window after joining English Premier League club Manchester United on loan from French club Monaco.
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Radamel Falcao joins Manchester United
Radamel Falcao joins Manchester United
Radamel Falcao joins Manchester United
Radamel Falcao joins Manchester United
Radamel Falcao joins Manchester United
Radamel Falcao joins Manchester United
Radamel Falcao joins Manchester United
Radamel Falcao joins Manchester United
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Radamel Falcao joins Manchester United on a one-year loan from Monaco
  • Falcao will be counted on to help kickstart United's season
  • But some will be surprised that United did not sign a central defender
  • United has amassed two points from its opening three league games

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(CNN) -- Who is #Falcao?

Radamel Falcao Garcia Zarate, Falcao for short, is a Colombian soccer star.

He sent Twitter into meltdown on Monday when he joined Manchester United on a one-year loan from Monaco, swapping the French Riviera for a considerably higher tax bill and a city where it rains 53% of the year.

Aged 28, he scores goals. Lots of them. During spells with Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco, he's earned a reputation as one of Europe's finest strikers.

Monday was European football's "transfer deadline day," the last opportunity for the continent's top teams to sign new players. Imagine NFL draft day, only with no structure and more chaos.

Good news for Manchester United, then?

Yes and no. Falcao is good enough to improve any team, but United hardly needed another attacking player.

Last week it paid Real Madrid nearly $100m to sign Angel di Maria, a forward-thinking addition to a squad that already included the likes of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata.

Throw Falcao into the mix and United manager Louis van Gaal is spoiled for choice at the front of his line-up, but it's at the rear where his team is exposed.

United is yet to win this season and recently suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat to third division team MK Dons in the League Cup.

Simply put, United signing Falcao is like buying a really nice sweater but forgetting to put on your trousers.

Wait, you said Colombia. Where was he at the World Cup?

The man nicknamed "El Tigre" (The Tiger) missed Colombia's run to the quarterfinals of Brazil 2014 with a knee injury he picked up in January.

The whole country was praying their star striker would be fit for selection, so much so that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos even visited Falcao in hospital, but sadly it wasn't to be.

In his absence, James (pronounced "Ham-ez") Rodriguez scored six goals as Colombia swaggered its way into the last eight before defeat to hosts Brazil.

A new star was born, and Rodriguez is now strutting his stuff at Real Madrid having also left Monaco.

Did Falcao not fancy joining "Ham-ez" in Madrid?

Funny you should mention that.

On Saturday a Tweet sent from Falcao's official account said (a rough translation) "Go Madrid, a dream come true."

But Falcao swiftly denied sending the tweet, saying his profile had been compromised.

Pesky hackers...

Who is the middle man in the transfer?

Uber agent Jorge Mendes, who is seemingly doing his utmost to keep the Portuguese economy afloat. As well as Falcao and Rodriguez, Mendes brokered the deal to bring Di Maria to Old Trafford and Eliaquim Mangala to Manchester City.

Where can I find his Twitter account?

@FALCAO is his official Twitter handle. He's also on Instagram and if you head over there you'll find proof he's also pretty handy with a baseball bat.

He's a big guy...

Yep, with hair like Samson. But he's spoken for. His wife is Argentinean singer/songwriter Lorelei Taron. His dad Radamel Garcia was also a professional footballer, playing in Colombia, and he thinks his son is going all the way to the top.

"Falcao will lead Monaco to the Champions League," said Falcao's entirely impartial father when his son first signed for the French team in 2013. "Every team he plays for he makes better and he wins a title."

His dad was right. Monaco did qualify for the Champions League, even if Falcao missed most of last season through injury.

Now Falcao junior has a similar mission to help United qualify for Europe's top competition. The Manchester club isn't in Europe after an awful season under Alex Ferguson's successor David Moyes, who was subsequently sacked.

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