Atlético Madrid's Radamel Falcao affirmed that "more than pressure", this Saturday's derby against Real Madrid "is a source of motivation" for the 'rojiblancos'. He highlighted the qualities of their opponents, "a great team", and stressed that the game will be "very intense."
The top goal scorer for Atlético this season, with fourteen strikes in thirteen matches, said that he has a contract "for another three years" with his current club and that "at the moment" he's not thinking about his future. At the same time, he admitted that he's always had "the ambition to play for Millonarios" in his country.
But Falcao's next challenge is the derby, as he stated in an interview with DIRECTV. "They are a great team, last season's Liga winners, and both teams will want to win. It'll be a very intense match" explained the player, who will start the clash on Saturday a week after reaching 50 goals with Atlético.
He was also asked about his future. "I've got another three years on my contract at Atlético Madrid and I'm not thinking about what the future holds at the moment. We're battling for big things and there are great titles up for grabs. I can't lose my focus for anything in the world", he said.
"I try to live my reality because I know that in football you have to prove yourself day to day. This could all change, so I have to look after what I've worked so hard to obtain, to get to a better level in football", he continued.
Talking about his desire to play for Millonarios, he said: "I've never played in the top division in Colombia and it's a part of my plans to go back, but I don't know what could happen from now until I finish my career. It's true I would love to play for Millonarios", he affirmed.
He also stated he was "happy" to be included among the 23 candidates for the Ballon d'Or. "Just being nominated is something positive; that means you're doing things well", he commented, going on to say that "although a lot is said" about his "characteristics" of a "stereotypical '9'", he wouldn't pigeon-hole himself as that.
"I do love goals and I live off goals" he added, recalling that when he was younger he looked up to Ronaldo. "He influenced me a lot in his way of playing", said Falcao.
The striker, who considers Diego Maradona as "the best of all-time" also spoke about his country's good record in their qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Colombia are currently third in the table with five wins, a draw and two defeats.
"We're doing very well. We've found this fluidity in our game. A lot of it's down to the coach (the Argentine José Pekerman), who's been able to bring together the good performances of players in different leagues around the world to the benefit of our team", he explained.
"We're in a good position in the qualifying. There's still a way to go but if we carry on like this the World Cup is close. The keys to what's happening are the maturity of many players and the arrival of a coach with a winning mentality", he concluded.
Falcao is a part of the 'Ambassadors' campaign on the pay-TV operator DIRECTV, an initiative that brings together notable figures that represent Latin America in European football. It's subscription-only channel DIRECTV Sport provides over 1,000 hours of exclusive events in high definition, as the broadcaster says.