RANCAGUA, June 14- Radamel Falcao dismissed talk of a slump as he insisted his faltering year at Manchester United had made him a more “complete” footballer.
“Falcao was always there,” the new Colombian captain told a press conference when asked about a season on loan in which he scored just four goals in 29 appearances for Louis van Gaal’s side in the English Premier League.
“It depends what criteria you are using,” Falcao said on the eve of Colombia’s opening Copa America match against Venezuela.
“People said I was not on the field and not scoring goals,” said the 29-year-old. “Falcao was always there.
“The speculation is not true. I am calm. Today Falcao is a more complete player.”
Manchester United have sent Falcao back to Monaco. But British media say he could remain in the Premier League with Chelsea.
Falcao is looking to bounce back from his Manchester blues and missing last year’s World Cup through injury by impressing at the Copa America.
Colombia coach Jose Pekerman has kept faith with the striker by giving him the captain’s armband after the retirement of the veteran Mario Yepes.
“We must always trust him,” said Pekerman this week. “He has always overcome difficulties to have success.”
Colombia won the Copa in 2001 and after reaching the World Cup quarter finals in Brazil with James Rodriguez’s goals believe that success can be theirs again.
“It would be great to repeat the experience of what we did at the World Cup,” said Falcao.
“This team has grown a lot in recent years. It is a team that knows it can win and is the equal of any other side and has no complex against the big countries,” Falcao insisted.
Colombia play Venezuela in their first Group C match on Sunday in Rancagua.