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The Colombian completed a surprise transfer to the ambitious Ligue 2 champions earlier in the summer, and his former Barcelona rival concedes he did not see the move coming

Eric Abidal has admitted he was "very surprised" by Radamel Falcao's decision to leave Atletico Madrid and join Monaco.

The 27-year-old was expected to move to the Premier League, with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City reportedly leading the race to land the striker, but he eventually opted to join the freshly-promoted Ligue 2 side - backed by fertiliser tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev.

And the former France defender - who himself has been linked with a transfer to Stade Louis II since his release from Barcelona - was left stunned following the completion of Falcao's transfer, although he believes the deal is a signal of intent from the Monagesques.

"I had the chance to meet [Falcao] in Dubai, and off the field he is very discreet. After that, despite his young age, he is already an experienced player and a great striker," he said after a charity match on Friday.

"I was very surprised by his choice, but I hope he will be proved right. This is a major new addition to the French championship. [The move] shows that Monaco have real ambitions for many years to come."

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