Colombian striker Radamel Falcao gave a performance for the ages, as Atletico Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 3-0 to win the UEFA Europa League title. That gives Falcao consecutive Europa League tournament and scoring titles (he won last year after scoring 17 goals with Porto).
The first goal of the night came in just the sixth minute of play when Falcao received the ball in the area, got rid of his defender’s mark and swiftly buried the ball into the corner to set off celebrations by Atletico fans worldwide.
The goal was enough to confirm the striker’s lone position as top scorer of the tournament with 11 goals (Klass-Jan Huntelaar had 10 for Schalke 04).
In the 32nd minute, Falcao again received the ball with his back to the net, twisted away from the defender and gave a fine strike with his left foot to the back of the net to put Atletico up 2-0.
In the 79th minute, he almost got the hat-trick for his efforts after again making the Athletic Bilbao defenders look like amateurs before his shot hit the post.
Diego added the final score for Atletico Madrid in the 84th minute to kill all of Athletic Bilbao’s chances of a comeback in the game.
Adding to his 17-goal tally last year with Porto, Falcao upped his total to 29 goals in 29 matches — a perfect percentage for the Colombian.
After that masterful performance and a third-place finish in La Liga with 23 goals (no dud considering only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo ended with more than him), Falcao has placed himself in the conversation to be deservedly called one of the best in the world.
He is the only player to win back-to-back Europa League (formerly UEFA Cup) titles with different teams, and also the first to repeat as top scorer.
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