Gabi: Falcao the best 'number 9'

Atletico Madrid midfielder Gabi has hailed team-mate Radamel Falcao as the world's best striker at playing the 'number 9' role and claims the Colombian is happy at the club.

Football News: Radamel Falcao, Atletico Madrid

By staff

Gabi joined Atletico together with Falcao in the 2011 summer transfer window, with both playing an integral part of the club's success last season, leading the Los Colchoneros to 5th place in the La Liga and more impressively, winning the Europa League with a convincing 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the final.

Falcao's impressive performance for Atletico made him a prime transfer target for top clubs everywhere, with the likes of European champions Chelsea, Spanish Champions Real Madrid and Russian Champions Zenit St Petersburg all reportedly keen to sign the Colombian hotshot.

However, Los Colchoneros' captain Gabi has moved to diffuse rumours of Falcao's departure from the club, claiming that despite being the subject of intense transfer speculation, the 26-year-old, whom he describes as the best in the world at playing the role of a 'number 9' striker, is committed to staying at the Estadio Vicente Calderón.

"He is the best No. 9 in the world and everyone wants to sign him," Gabi told Spanish publication AS.

"I have spent lots of time with him - he is my room-mate. He is very ambitious and knows he can achieve things here. 

"He is delighted to continue with Atletico... he is very happy to stay with us.

The Colombian forward has managed to carry on his good form from last season to this season, scoring two hat-tricks in the club's first three games and Gabi believes Falcao's blistering form is down to the former Porto striker managing to integrate himself with the team's style of play.

"His confidence is sky high at the moment," Gabi added.

"He has found his best style of play - moving around the penalty area, not coming deep to receive the ball as much. 

"The team works a lot so that he is happy and gets the ball."

"His aerial power is brutal; he is the best header of the ball in the world, well ahead of everyone else. 

"We try to take advantage of that, to look for him."

Atletico's impressive 4-1 victory over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup has also left Gabi bullish for the club's future and the 29-year-old defensive midfielder hopes the team can replicate that form on a consistent basis.

Speaking about the UEFA Super Cup final, Gabi gushed: "If that was not our best night, it was one of our best.

"The team played at a really high level - everything went well for us from the first minute until the last.

"Consistency is now the most important. We cannot hide from ourselves that Atletico play three good games and three bad games. 

"We need to focus and take responsibility."

Gabi also spoke of Atletico head coach Diego Simeone in glowing terms, saying: "He gives everything himself and everything must be done exactly to the letter, through hard work. 

"This translates on to the pitch, where the team has showed a lot of force and a huge fighting spirit."

Simeone's men will face Rayo Vallecano in their next La Liga fixture and the Argentinian manager will surely be counting on Falcao to fire his side to another victory.

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