Monaco striker Radamel Falcao is Europe's most efficient scorer
Radamel Falcao said he had kept faith during a difficult spell in the Premier League after his 45th goal in 50 European appearances made him the most prolific goal scorer in UEFA club competition history.
Falcao scored his fifth goal in six Champions League games this season as a 3-1 home win over Borussia Dortmund wrapped up a 6-3 aggregate triumph.
The strike took him ahead of Bayern Munich and Germany legend Gerd Muller, whose record stood at 62 goals from 71 matches.
The Colombia international's 18 goals in 24 league matches have steered Monaco to the top of Ligue 1, underlining a spectacular return to form after difficult loan spells at Manchester United and Chelsea.
"I have been through some difficult times, but I worked in silence when some people didn't believe in me any more," L'Equipe quoted the 31-year-old as saying.
"I believe every effort ends up being rewarded. I think the difficult times helped me grow and made me stronger."
Falcao made only 15 Premier League starts, scoring five goals, over the course of his two campaigns in England.
Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope, he added: "To play and have continuity has been key -- it has allowed me to show what I have. No one forgets how to play football.
"I needed the opportunity to play regularly. I was convinced of this, I just needed the chance to prove it."
Falcao said Monaco had shown they were "among the best four teams in Europe and we have to continue to dream."
He added: "Anything is possible in football, and we have to continue to do what we are doing."
Monaco sporting director Antonio Cordon told Cadena Ser Falcao was "a true professional" and said: "He is a very important player in the changing room. He is a reference player for his teammates.
"I think he is enjoying himself with the season we are having."
Former Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur defender William Gallas told SFR Sport he believed coach Leonardo Jardim's side could go one better than their 2004 defeat in the final.
"It was a great performance from Monaco," he said. "What I like about this team is that they're not afraid to play. You get the impression they can go all the way."
Information from ESPN FC's Spain correspondent Adriana Garcia was used in this report.
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman