News came through this week that Chelsea haven’t included Radamel Falcao in their Champions League squad for the knockout stages of the competition.
It simply adds insult to the regular injuries that the Colombian has suffered at Chelsea and Manchester United since his anterior cruciate knee ligament injury sustained at Monaco in January 2014.
Once among the most feared footballers in the world he currently seems figuratively unable to punch his way out of a wet paper bag.
And even Chelsea’s biggest detractors surely wouldn’t have wished this fate upon such a talent.
Players this good almost transcend normal rivalries in the way that Lionel Messi tends to do at Barcelona. Football lovers just want to see players this good playing football.
And Falcao was in that category in his pomp. He was the possibly the best ever example of a great goalscorer and scorer of great goals. He has hit 205 goals in 345 club games and that ratio was even better before he joined Manchester United and then Chelsea.
But many of these were anything but tap-ins. Falcao regularly scored goals usually reserved for computer games.
It’s not the first time that a previously omnipotent player has fallen lame at Chelsea. Andriy Shevchenko scored 127 goals in 208 league games for Milan but just 9 in 48 once he got to Stamford Bridge.
And Fernando Torres arrived for around £50m but his amazing talent seemed to drain from his body from the moment he arrived.
In reality Falcao’s demise began much earlier. But the common strand? All three lost their pace and, with it, their ability to get clear of defenders in a very quick league.
But, in his prime, TFF thinks that Falcao was comfortably the best of the three. And at just 29 he should be enjoying his best years. But it’s difficult to see him ever dominating a top league again in the way that he did in Spain for Atletico and Portugal for Porto between 2009-2013.
We do hope he regains his ruthless edge but, sadly for football, the likelihood of this coming to pass seems to recede by the week.