After Nearly 25 Years Away, Falcao Returns Home to Colombia to Play for Millonarios de Bogotá 

Colombia's Radamel Falcao celebrates after scoring against Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny during the group H match at the soccer World Cup at Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, June 24, 2018. (AP)
Colombia's Radamel Falcao celebrates after scoring against Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny during the group H match at the soccer World Cup at Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, June 24, 2018. (AP)
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After Nearly 25 Years Away, Falcao Returns Home to Colombia to Play for Millonarios de Bogotá 

Colombia's Radamel Falcao celebrates after scoring against Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny during the group H match at the soccer World Cup at Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, June 24, 2018. (AP)
Colombia's Radamel Falcao celebrates after scoring against Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny during the group H match at the soccer World Cup at Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, June 24, 2018. (AP)

After nearly 25 years away, Radamel Falcao is coming back home to Colombia. The 38-year-old striker will play for Millonarios de Bogotá next season, the team announced on Thursday.

Falcao, who played for Chelsea, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid among other clubs in a 15-year career in Europe, has not played in Colombia since 2000, when he did it with Lanceros Boyacá, a second-division club.

With Atletico de Madrid he won the Europa League title in the 2011-12 season.

“Everybody knows that Millonarios is the team of my heart,” Falcao said in a video recording.

Falcao, who is Colombia’s all-time scoring leader with 36 goals, arrives to Millonarios after spending three seasons with Rayo Vallecano, in Spain, where he scored 12 goals in 80 matches.

Falcao, who will play in Colombia’s top flight for the first time in his career, signed a six-month contract, the team announced. Millonarios will play against River Plate in Argentina on July 9th, although it’s unclear if Falcao will be able to play in that match.

Falcao played four seasons with River Plate before signing with Porto for the 2009 season. In Portugal he won two league titles and the Europa League.

He also played for Monaco and Galatasaray.



Buoyant Hamilton Seeking to Keep Momentum and More Records

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 7, 2024. (Photo by BENJAMIN CREMEL / AFP)
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 7, 2024. (Photo by BENJAMIN CREMEL / AFP)
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Buoyant Hamilton Seeking to Keep Momentum and More Records

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 7, 2024. (Photo by BENJAMIN CREMEL / AFP)
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 7, 2024. (Photo by BENJAMIN CREMEL / AFP)

A buoyant Lewis Hamilton heads into this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix on the crest of a wave, seeking a record-increasing ninth Hungaroring victory and Mercedes' third consecutive win of the season.
After two years of struggles, Hamilton ended his long winless run at the British Grand Prix with a record ninth home triumph at Silverstone and hopes to repeat that feat in forecast intense heat at the track where last year he secured his most recent pole position, AFP said.
Following his emotional success in front of an adoring crowd in the English rain, Hamilton said he felt excited at the prospect of returning to a track where he has scored several memorable victories in his career.
"I love Hungary," he said. "And so I am definitely looking forward to going there. The trajectory we're now on and the fact that the car is starting to really, really come alive and feel great. I can't wait."
The 39-year-old seven-time world champion won at the Hungaroring -- a tight, twisty and often dusty circuit 22 kilometers north of Budapest -- in his debut season for McLaren in 2007 and again in 2009 and 2012.
After switching to Mercedes, he continued to relish the unique challenge of a track often described as 'Monaco without the walls' and won again in 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
If he secures a podium finish this Sunday, it will be the 200th of his career, a pole position would be a record-extending 10th, landmark achievements that set him apart as he bids to add to team-mate George Russell's victory in Austria and his own in Britain.
He and Russell know, however, that they will not be favorites despite their recent successes as defending three-time champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull bids to complete a hat-trick of Hungarian wins after triumphs in 2022 and last year.
"Last year was brilliant," said Verstappen. "I have good memories of racing here and last year achieved our 12th win in a row. So, hopefully, we can have a great race again."
Midway point
The Dutchman leads the title race by 84 points ahead of nearest rival and friend Lando Norris of McLaren as the season crosses the midway point after 12 of the scheduled 24 races.
Team boss Christian Horner expects a close scrap.
"It's going to be interesting to see how we perform there," he said.
"It could be very hot and I think it will be the usual people who are quick at the moment and it will be very, very close again."
That suggests Horner considers Red Bull will be fighting with McLaren and Mercedes on recent evidence, but with Ferrari likely to return to form on a tighter circuit –- not unlike Monaco where Charles Leclerc gained an emotional home win in May.
With the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps following immediately, within a week, the double-header offers an opportunity for teams to make a telling impact before Formula One takes its annual 'summer shutdown' during August.
This will translate as more pressure for struggling Sergio Perez of Red Bull who is hoping to escape a nightmare run having scored only 15 points in his last six outings since agreeing a new contract.
Ferrari are also in need of a solid result from Leclerc but have struggled with a recent upgrade package that failed.
"When you're at the sharp end, it's all marginal gains," said Horner. "Mercedes were very quick at Silverstone, took pole and the front row and then executed a good race... at least Lewis did."
His Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff admitted: "We have momentum and gained headline results in Austria and at Silverstone, but we don't yet have a car to challenge for victories every weekend.
"The Hungaroring is very different in character to the last two circuits. We will focus on doing the best we can and hope to maintain our trajectory."