'Tiger' Falcao hailed after Atletico triumph

10 May 2012 07:17

Radamel Falcao was hailed by Spain's media on Thursday morning after the Colombian's brace helped Atletico Madrid to a 3-0 victory against Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League final in Bucharest.

Falcao scored twice in the first half of Wednesday's final before Brazilian Diego wrapped up Atletico's second Europa League in three seasons late on.

And it was Falcao -- who scored the only goal for Porto in last year's final and has now scored 29 goals in the competition in two seasons -- that hogged the headlines.

"Falcao is already an Atletico legend" said Madrid sports daily Marca of the 26-year-old who was signed last summer to replace departing stars Diego Forlan and Kun Aguero.

"They call him 'the Tiger' and they do so for a good reason. He tore Athletic apart in a perfect display of finishing and penalty-box prowess," the paper continued.

Leading daily El Pais heaped further praise on Falcao, calling him "the perfect striker" and highlighting that this was the second season running in which he had won the tournament and finished as the competition's leading scorer.

AS -- the main capital-based rival to Marca -- led with "That's Why We Support Atleti."

Years ago, a Spanish television advert featured a small boy asking his father, "why do we support Atleti?" a club known better in recent times for scrapping in the lower reaches of La Liga and struggling to keep up with cross-town rivals Real Madrid.

But AS editor Alfredo Relano paid tribute to a club that, despite experiencing more than its fair share of lows, has now won the Europa League twice in three campaigns.

"This Atleti are strange," he said. "They win the same trophy twice in three seasons with two completely different sets of players (none of the 2010 team started against Athletic).

"Why do we support Atleti? This is why. Because of these rare but different moments of happiness, for that feeling of living on the edge."

Source: AFP