As the Columbian goal machine Radamel Falcao officially announced last week that he would be joining the French outfit Monaco, all that comes to mind is 'what could have been' had he chosen instead to join a top club from one of the bigger leagues in the continent after declaring his intent to leave Atletico Madrid.
AS Monaco, currently in the middle of a battle with the French Football Federation (FFF) regarding the location of its headquarters, has earned the eligibility to re-enter Ligue 1 courtesy of the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev who now owns a 66% stake in the club and whose investments in the club enabled them to crawl out from the depths of Ligue 2. With other high profile signings such as Ricardo Carvalho, Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez this season, the club looks to slug it out with the other top French clubs and earn Champions League Qualification for next season.
Falcao's chief motive for choosing Monaco over other high profile clubs in the continent might be the tax haven status enjoyed by the French-registered Monegasque-based football club. Due to the fact that its headquarters are located outside the legal boundaries of France, the club is protected from the exorbitant tax rates imposed by the FFF.
Falcao might not play in the Champions League or win the Ligue 1 title in the immediate future, but his bank balance will keep bulging. It is hard to argue if a player of his calibre would care less about trophies, but perhaps the Columbian is more interested in securing his financial future than worry about winning silverware. With the talent he possesses, Falcao could have commanded similar (albeit slightly lesser perhaps) wages elsewhere in the continent too with clubs like Chelsea eager to acquire his services.
A player of the stature of Falcao deserves to ply his trade with the elite, but the power of money can make man’s mind work in strange ways! It would be interesting to wait and watch if Monaco does succeed in luring other big names with its rising reputation for being a preferred destination of world class footballers as CNN.com notes. Would you be tempted to join Monaco instead of say Bayern Munich if you were a Falcao or a Rooney, for the sheer amount of money on offer and a chance for living life in the economic paradise?