Former Barcelona defender Eric Abidal admits that he was surprised by Radamel Falcao's decision to join Monaco this summer.
The Colombia international is regarded as one of the top strikers in world football at present, and was expected to leave Atletico Madrid for the English Premier League - where Chelsea and Manchester City were showing interest.
Instead, the forward decided to sign with freshly-promoted Ligue 2 side Monaco - who have the financial backing of fertiliser tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev.
Abidal, who was released from the Catalans at the end of last season, has also been linked to the big-spending French side and he says that the signing of Falcao shows Monaco's intentions.
"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."