On-loan Manchester United forward Radamel Falcao has revealed that he had been taking English lessons for years before he moved to Old Trafford in anticipation of a move to the Premier League.
The Colombian joined the Red Devils on an initial loan deal from Monaco, with the option of making the switch permanent if he proves to be a success.
So far he's scored one goal in four Premier League appearances for his new club, and will look to add to that tally when he lines up to take on West Brom at the Hawthorns this evening. If the deal were to fall through for any reason it wouldn't be for a lack of trying on Falcao's part - he's revealed in an interview with the Independent that he's been preparing for this moment for the last three years.
The former Atletico Madrid man says he has always dreamed of playing in the Premier League, and started taking English lessons 'several' years ago in order to help him settle in as quickly as possible.
"I study in English classes three times a week, although I often can't complete the timetable because we have a lot of commitments," he said. "Of course there are important leagues in Europe and I've known that at some time in my career I'd like to experiment. England has a league which players like a lot and one of my aims has been to take part in it."
Despite only being 28, Falcao has already played for a handful of the biggest clubs in the world. He started his career in his native Colombia before earning a switch to Argentinian giants. River Plate. From there he was picked up by Porto and his career took on a different trajectory as Atletico Madrid and then Monaco forked out a combined £80 million to secure his goal-scoring services in 2011 and 2013.
He is now on the verge of another huge move to Manchester United - but there is a clause in his contract which means that if he suffers a recurrence of the knee injury which ruled him out of the World Cup then his permanent switch to Old Trafford will be called off.
However Falcao says his career path to date has prepared him for all eventualities. "I'm used to adapting to a new country as I left home when I was so young," he said. "I left Colombia at 14, and in reality I became a man in Argentina, where I spent eight-and-a-half years. There I met my wife at the church I used to go to."