Radamel Falcao looks to add to his record Europa League tally
Porto forward could prove a major obstacle as Braga search for their first taste of European silverware
Record-breaking Porto striker Radamel Falcao is expected to spearhead the Portuguese champions’ attack when they take on local rivals Braga in the Europa League final tonight.
And it looks as if underdogs Braga will have their work cut out.
The 25-year-old has netted 16 times in the Europa League this season, surpassing Jurgen Klinsmann’s tally of 15 goals for Bayern Munich in the Uefa Cup set in 1995-96 and helping Andre Villas-Boas’ men book their place in the Dublin final.
“Our team has done something fantastic – to win our league and now reach the final of the Europa League is a dream come true,” Falcao told Uefa.com.
“My second season in Europe has turned out very well, but there are many things to improve, aspects where I need to teach myself to do better.
“My job is to score the goals which take the stress away from the team, to make matches easier. I just need to keep doing that.”
The Colombia international has hit two hat-tricks en route to the final – at Rapid Vienna in the group stages and against Spartak Moscow in the quarter-finals.
And the former River Plate striker scored four times as Porto romped to a 5-1 semi-final first leg victory over Villarreal back in April.
“I’ll never forget these four goals,” said the Columbian at the time. “It’s like a dream – I’ve never scored four goals in a game before.”
Expected Porto line-up:
Helton, Alvaro Perreira, Nicolas Otamendi, Rolando, Cristian Sapunaru, Valera, Freddy Guarin, Fernando, Joao Moutinho, Hulk, Radamel Falcao
Expected Braga line-up:
Artur, Junior Rodriguez, Paulao, Miguel Garcia, Silvio, Marcio Mossoro, Custodio, Hugo Viana, Lima, Meyong Ze, Alan