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Falcao dismisses age cheating talk

RADAMEL-FALCAOBOGOTA, Colombia, July 24 – Monaco’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao on Tuesday took to Twitter to slam rumours about his age amid claims he is 29, not 27.

“I am surprised by these media reports about my age – they are ridiculous,” said Monaco’s recent 60 million euro signing from Atletico Madrid.

“I vehemently deny (the story) and want to put an end to it once and for all,” said Falcao after TV station Noticias Uno showed the player’s former headmaster as saying the star was born in 1984 and not 1986.

Asked to comment by AFP, Falcao’s father Radamel Garcia and the Colombian Football Federation both declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Gerardo Martino on Tuesday credited Lionel Messi with having had input in Barcelona’s decision to appoint him as coach in place of Tito Vilanova.

After Vilanova resigned last Friday due to ongoing health problems, the 50-year-old Martino comes in from Argentine outfit Newell’s Old Boys – where Barca superstar Messi started out before moving to the Catalan club in his early teens.

Martino indicated Messi and his father had had an influence. “It took me by surprise (but) I have no doubt that Jorge (Messi) and Lionel were involved. (Barca) will surely have asked their opinion – though I don’t know to what extent” any input would have swayed the Barca board, Martino told a news conference in Rosario, Messi’s home town.

Martino indicated that contracts had still to be signed but said he was privileged to have been selected for the post with a club of Barca’s prestige.

Vowing to rise to the challenge he added he felt fortunate that taking over the hotseat at the Nou Camp he would be able “to coach the best player in the world.”

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