Monaco head coach Leonardo Jardim labelled Radamel Falcao as one of the world’s best strikers after he helped the Ligue 1 side past Fenerbahce in Champions League qualification.
Having lost the first leg of their third qualifying round tie 2-1 in Turkey last week, Monaco secured a 3-1 second-leg victory at Stade Louis II on Wednesday to move through to the play-off round with a 4-3 win on aggregate.
Falcao followed up his first-leg strike by netting from the penalty spot in the return game prior to coming off with a hamstring injury just before half-time and watching his team-mates see the tie through in the second half.
Jardim told L’Equipe: “Falcao is one of the best strikers in the world. When he comes out of the game, that’s not good, but all the players kept a great attitude and a good tactical discipline. They have controlled the second half and over two legs Monaco deserved to qualify.
“We are growing. We played our football and after the first two goals, we had more confidence.
“Fenerbahce are a great club and Vitor Pereira is a great coach, but Monaco were stronger. For me this is not a surprise.
“I always believe in my team, my players. Few people believed in the qualification before the match, but Monaco have qualified.”
Head coach Jardim was encouraged by the performances of Falcao and strike partner Valere Germain, who scored his side’s other two goals having spent last season impressing on loan at Nice.
He added: “This is the sixth time they have played together. They have been working on it since day one and the team played well offensively.
“Germain is an important player. He played 20 matches in my first year but he wanted to play more [last season]. Now I see a better player and that is good.”
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