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Has Monaco’s superstar Radamel Falcao lied about his age?

Jul 23, 2013, 9:17 AM EST

Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao is seen during the Spanish first division soccer match against Valencia at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid Reuters

Just when you thought technology had all the answers, wham, everything is thrown into doubt.

This morning reports are circulating that Colombian striker Radamel Falcao may actually be older than everyone previously thought.

After signing for Monaco from Atletico Madrid earlier this summer for a huge $78 million transfer fee, Falcao was believed to be 27.

But now evidence found in his home nation of Colombia suggest otherwise. Apparently Falcao is actually 29.

Surely he knew about this?

But the big question is, how will Monaco react to this after shelling out a huge some of money for a player they believed to be in his prime with many years ahead of him? Falcao has scored an incredible 142 goals in his last 177 games for FC Porto and Atletico, but could Monaco now expect less of a prolific return after this revelation?

Okay it’s only two years difference, but still, those two years make a huge impact on a soccer players career.

Falcao has some explaining to do.

(MORE: Radamel Falcao signs for AS Monaco, as revolution in Monte Carlo has a new leader)

So, in the report an old civil registration form suggests that Falcao was born in 1984 instead of 1986. According to Colombia’s Noticias Uno, one of Falcao’s primary schools claims the former Porto striker was born on Feb. 10, 1984 – making the striker 29 years old.

Additionally, the report states Falcao was born Colombia’s capital Bogota, not San Marta as everyone believed.

This is a mess.

But amongst all these allegations of age fraud and all the complications that brings with it, Falcao’s parents have rubbished the stories and put it down to a “clerical error.”

How many Radamel Falcao García Zárate’s are there in Colombia? Now we aren’t too sure.

So is this the first-time an age discrepancy has cropped up in soccer? Oh no.

Take U.S. national team star Freddy Adu as exhibit A. His age has been questioned on numerous occasions after he made his pro debut at the age of 14, this report suggests his actual birth date may never be found out after Adu was born in Tema, Ghana before moving to the USA at the age of 8.

And elsewhere in Africa, former Inter Milan defender Taribo West is apparently 12 years older than everyone believed. So West actually retired from playing soccer at the age of 51… instead of 39. His Nigerian teammates and former EPL stars Jay-Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu have also been accused of lying about their age.

So what do all these players getting from clouding the truth about their age? Well, for starters they get to have a longer professional career and make more money. But the toll on their body must be incredible.

Anyway, with Falcao’s secret reportedly out, let’s wait and see if any other soccer stars have a guilty conscience and reveal they’re actually older than they are.

This could get very interesting indeed.

  1. dfstell - Jul 23, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Isn’t Falcao one of those third-party managed guys? I’d bet this practice is pretty common with those guys. I mean, those third-parties COULD truly find the best and greatest players in developing countries OR they could just find a bunch of good teenagers and lie about their ages. “This one is 16! Look at him compete against grown men!” and the club buys the “kid” for the youth academy never knowing the the “kid” is really 18 years old. I’m sure that happens all the time.

    In a way, Falcao is so good that he kinda exposes the system the same way a lot of elite Dominican players have exposes similar scams in baseball. If he was just a “meh” striker, then nobody would really care. But he’s so good that now Monaco has a problem. If this contract expires when he’s 33, his sell-on value is pretty low and probably Monaco wouldn’t have paid quite as much money for him.

    On the other hand, I can’t imagine all the clubs are shocked that this goes on. Surely there were already suspicions that Falcao was older than he said he was. There are lots of guys in baseball who are suspected to be older than they say and it absolutely affects the way clubs bid for them.

  2. seanb20124 - Jul 23, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Who does he think he is, FreddynAdu?

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