He may be best remembered in English football for that celebration where he couldn’t get his shirt back on, but Diego Forlan was one of La Liga’s deadliest strikers and has recently announced his retirement.
The Sun reported earlier that Forlan has decided to retire from the game at the age of 40, following a career that spanned 22 years and nine countries.
He would probably go down as more of a “cult hero” in Manchester rather than an absolute superstar, but he’s fondly remembered at Old Trafford and scored 10 league goals over four seasons.
His career really took off following a move to Villarreal where 54 La Liga goals in three seasons saw him earn a move to Atletico Madrid. Atleti have an amazing record in signing strikers recently with Forlan, Aguero, Griezmann, Falcao and Diego Costa over recent years. There’s no doubt that Forlan was up there with the best strikers in La Liga during the 00’s.
He’s also a legend at International level with 112 caps and 36 goals over 13 years. He was a vital player in the team that reached the World Cup Semi-finals in 2010 and went on to win the Copa America in 2011.
After leaving Spain, his career saw him go to Italy, Japan, Brazil, India and Hong Kong.
Interestingly Forlan had originally planned to become a tennis player before his sister was involved in a tragic car accident that required a lot of money for the treatment. At that point Forlan vowed to become a footballer to help earn money to pay for it as reported by the NY Times.
Perhaps we didn’t see the best of Forlan during his time in the Premier League but you can’t deny the great things he went on to achieve in Spain. If you look up the list of the Golden Boot winners in La Liga during the 00’s you will see Forlan’s name nestled among greats like Messi, Ronaldo, Eto’o, Diego Tristan and Roy Makaay.
Forlan will go down as one of La Liga’s greats and had a wonderful career.