I can score as many goals as Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo, claims Falcao

Atletico Madrid star Radamel Falcao is brimming with confidence ahead of the new season, and is keen to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the title of top goalscorer in La Liga.

The Colombia international netted 24 league goals in his debut campaign at the Vicente Calderon, and he is desperate to do even better this campaign.

“It’s up to me to improve on what I did last time around and that’s my aim,” Falcao was quoted as saying on the official Liga website.

“Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal tallies aren’t out of my reach. But what I most want is to have a good season for the fans.

“I’m really looking forward to this new season. As for me, I’m better acclimatised to the Spanish league.

“We’re really looking forward to improving on what we achieved last year, both individually and collectively.

“The team is more settled now and we know each other better.”

Atletico Madrid open the 2012-13 campaign with an away game against Levante.

Marcelo resumes Real Madrid training

Real Madrid have welcomed Marcelo back into their squad, after the defender returned from representing Brazil at the Olympic Games in London.

The 24-year-old missed the first few weeks of the Blancos‘s pre-season due to his obligations with the Selecao, but is now available again, having touched down in the Spanish capital.

Marcelo’s Brazil were beaten 2-1 by Mexico in the final of the Olympics on Saturday.

Madrid resumed regular training action on Wednesday after three days of rest following their pre-season tour of the USA, where they played friendlies against Celtic, AC Milan, Santos Laguna and LA Galaxy.

Coach Jose Mourinho is currently preparing his squad for Sunday’s Liga opener against Valencia. The match at the Santiago Bernabeu is scheduled to kick off at 19:00UTC.

Tottenham midfielder Modric to fly to Spain to complete Real Madrid move

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Luka Modric is poised to fly to Spain on Thursday to finalise a £30 million move from Tottenham to Real Madrid.

The midfielder will jet into the Spanish capital after appearing for Croatia in their friendly against Switzerland on Wednesday night.

Sources have told Goal.com that Real have agreed a fee worth £30m with Spurs for Modric to finally bring an end to the long-running transfer saga.

Modric is expected to have a medical with the Spanish champions in the next 48 hours before putting pen to paper on a deal.

The 26-year-old has been in limbo since demanding a transfer to Real earlier in the summer.

He failed to report on time for pre-season training and refused to go on the north Londoners’ pre-season tour to the United States.

This came 12 months after he asked for a move from White Hart Lane to Chelsea, which Spurs chairman Daniel Levy refused to sanction despite a £40m bid from the European champions days before the end of the August 2011 window.

BREAKING NEWS: Tottenham midfielder Modric to fly to Spain to complete Real Madrid move

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Luka Modric is poised to fly to Spain on Thursday to finalise a £30 million move from Tottenham to Real Madrid.

The Croatian will jet into the Spanish capital after appearing for Croatia in their friendly against Switzerland on Wednesday night.

Sources have told Goal.com that Real have agreed a fee worth £30m with Spurs for Modric to finally bring an end to the long-running transfer saga.

Modric is expected to have a medical with the Spanish champions in the next 48 hours before putting pen to paper on a deal.

The 26-year-old has been in limbo since demanding a transfer to Real earlier in the summer.

He failed to report on time for pre-season training and refused to go on the north Londoners’ pre-season tour to the United States.

This came 12 months after he asked for a move from White Hart Lane to Chelsea, which Spurs chairman Daniel Levy refused to sanction despite a £40m bid from the European champions days before the end of the August 2011 window.

Messi: There's no Cristiano Ronaldo rivalry

Lionel Messi has played down the idea that he has a big personal rivalry with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 25-year-old Argentine striker has been speaking to the media ahead of Argentina playing Germany in a friendly on Wednesday evening in Frankfurt.

And when asked about his nomination for the Ballon d’Or and his relationship with the Madrid attacker he dismissed speculation that there is any animosity between the pair.

“With Cristiano [Ronaldo] there’s no problem. It all comes from the media. I’ve never competed with Cristiano or fought against him,” the 2011 winner told Ole.

“There is no kind of anger between us, only respect, but I would love for Iniesta or Xavi, who have for many years attained many important achievements such as the World Cup and European Championship, to win it should I fail.

“Obviously Ronaldo, who is a great player, as well as [Iker] Casillas, have naturally been discussed in the race for the prize too, but my friendship with both my team-mates presides.”

The record-breaking Messi has already been named beside Iniesta and Ronaldo as the three finalists to win the Uefa Best Player in Europe Award.