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Falcao gives Chelsea glimmer of hope

ESPN staff
May 16, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Radamel Falcao is expected to join Monaco © Getty Images
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Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao has dismissed speculation over his future, saying he is fully focused on enjoying Friday's Copa del Rey final against city rivals Real Madrid.

The build-up to the decider has seen Falcao heavily linked with a big money move to ambitious Ligue 1 side Monaco, with Chelsea and Real Madrid also thought to be among the other clubs interested in his signature.

His future plans also dominated the questions at Thursday evening's pre-game press conference, but the Colombian hitman said he had grown used to ignoring such apparently unfounded rumours.

"I do not know anything about that," Falcao said. "I am just thinking about Atletico Madrid. I am on the margin of all this speculation. The media have linked me with half of Europe - Manchester United, Real Madrid... Since I arrived here they have been sending me away."

Asked if this might be his last big game for Atletico, Falcao said journalists had written that before last season's Europa League final, and been proven wrong then.

"They said after the final of the Europa League in Bucharest, that if we did not qualify for the Champions League I would have to leave," he said. "I do not know what to think, the only thing I know is that I have a contract with Atletico. The rest is speculation."

Falcao has won his last three finals, scoring in each game as Porto won the 2011 Europa League and Atletico the 2012 Europa League and European Super Cup trophies. He admitted to enjoying the big stage such deciders provided.

"While you are playing finals you enjoy them more," he said. "They are games that always have a lot of tension, but when you have more experience you can remember more of the details. They are moments you must experience and enjoy, while giving the best you can for yourself and for the team."

Given Atletico's infamous 14-year run without a 'derbi' win, and the quality of squad available to Jose Mourinho, most pundits are making Madrid heavy favourites for the trophy. But Falcao said he was not worried if people saw his team as underdogs for the game at Madrid's Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

"I do not read many papers but I suppose they make Madrid favourites because of the players they have, their budget...," he said. "We focus on our own chances, the faith we have in ourselves. It does not bother us if people make them favourites."

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