There was no happier man in Rio today than Falcao. Denied by Spain at Guatemala 2000 and Chinese Taipei 2004, Brazilian futsal's most iconic player finally pocketed his first FIFA Futsal World Cup winners medal, on home soil and against the Spaniards to boot.
As if that were not enough, the Seleçao's legendary No.12 confirmed his status as the world's leading exponent of the game by collecting the adidas Golden Ball for the second time running. The icing on the cake was provided by the adidas Silver Boot, which he also picked up as the second-highest scorer in the competition. And, after taking receipt of his silverware, the man himself broke away from the celebrations to chat exclusively to FIFA.com.
FIFA.com: Falcao, what are your feelings at this moment in time?
Falcao: I'm happy. I'm just sorry I twisted my ankle and couldn't help my team to victory at the end. I feel fulfilled now. Four years ago I won all the individual awards but I was desperate to be world champion. Now that I've won the title, the player of the tournament award and finished second top scorer, it's too much. I can't ask for more.
What does it mean to win your first world title at home?
It makes me feel tremendously happy because it's something I've been trying to achieve with the national side for 12 years. It's also come at a special time in a special place - here in Brazil, in front of our families. The feeling is just incredible.
What was your view of the final?
It was a very even game between two sides who know each other very well and put on a great show. My heart was really beating at the end but we managed to hang on and beat Spain in just the same way they beat us back in 2004.
Do you think Brazil deserved to be champions?
Yes, absolutely. There's no doubt in my mind that we deserved it. We've been working towards this for four years and in that time the team has grown and learnt to play an effective game. Winning the World Cup today has rounded it all off.
Can you see yourself playing in your fourth FIFA Futsal World Cup in four years?
I want to carry on playing for the national team and I want to enjoy being a world champion while still wearing the jersey. I'll be 35 at the next World Cup and so we'll have to see how things go. My aim is to play one more, though.
What do you think about the standard of futsal at the moment?
Obviously there are some teams who are still finding their way and naturally the results they've suffered tend to devalue the game a little. That said, I've seen a big improvement in most teams. Iran, for example, only lost one game in missing out on a place in the semi-finals, while Italy lost three and still managed to finish third. Portugal are a very good team and I was impressed by Russia. They are doing things very well and I think they'll be one of the sides to beat in four years time. Things have evened out now and we need to start preparing the new generation to compete in those circumstances.