Monaco-Nice derby, can Falcao play it out?

Photo: Facebook AS Monaco
Photo: Facebook AS Monaco

AS Monaco’s Radamel Falcao scored his first Ligue 1 goal in more than two years last weekend, but Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim is wary over his fitness.

Jardim has urged patience, stating he’s unsure whether the Colombian striker is ready to complete a 90-minute game, according to

Falcao scored his first goal in France’s top flight since August 2014 in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Rennes, following two unsuccessful seasons on loan with Manchester United and Chelsea.

Nevertheless, Jardim is keen to play down expectations surrounding the 30-year-old, whose struggles can be traced back to a cruciate knee ligament injury that forced him to miss the 2014 World Cup.

“It’s normal that he is not at 100 percent because he did not play for a month,” Jardim told a news conference in Monaco ahead of Wednesday’s derby against second-place Nice. “He needs to play more and more to reach his level. I don’t know if he’ll be able to play 90 minutes. We’ll see what happens, and we’ll have to substitute him if needed.”

The Portuguese coach added, “I think that playing a derby is very good, it’s a very important game for our fans and for us.

I think this year it’ll be a bigger game because it’s first against second and I think it’s been many years since we’ve had this derby with the two teams at the top of the league. Because of all this, we have all the reasons to play a good game,” he said.

Monaco play Nice Wednesday at 7 pm at Allianz Riviera in Nice.