Atletico not such a bad move for Falcao

Radamel Falcao's decision to move to Atletico Madrid from Porto raised plenty of eyebrows at the time but he left his critics eating their words after another Europa League winning performance on Wednesday.

Having scored 17 goals for Porto in the competition last season, the Colombian had been expected to step up to the Champions League this term either with the Portuguese club themselves or by moving to a bigger team.

Instead, he went to Atletico Madrid and back into the Europa League, the region's much-maligned second tier competition.

The 26-year-old had the last laugh on Wednesday as his two goals in the final steered Atletico to an emphatic 3-0 win over fellow La Liga side Athletic Bilbao.

He also finished as top scorer for the second successive season, this time with 12 goals.

"When I came to Atletico, a lot of people said it was a mistake, this is the best way to show they were wrong," he told reporters, clutching the trophy.

Falcao has made a habit of making the right moves off the field as well as on it.

Having made an impact with Argentina's River Plate as a teenager, he was expected to quickly move on to Europe.

Instead, a combination of circumstances kept him until he was 23, however the extra experience proved a blessing when he moved to Porto, and he quickly found his scoring touch.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone could not speak highly enough of him.

"He is an admirable player, he also wants more, there is no ceiling to his ambitions," said the Argentine. "I hope he stays with us but I will be happy with whatever is good for him.

"Sometimes experienced players lose that extra something because they have done it before.

"Falcao is not like that, he forgot what he did last year and now he can live [in] the present."