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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Aladdin Sodiq Blog Profiles: Diego Forlán

Diego Martín Forlán Corazo (born 19 May 1979 in Montevideo) is an Uruguayan footballer who currently plays for Atlético Madrid of La Liga. He is a two-time winner of both the Pichichi Trophy and the European Golden Shoe.

He was born into a family of footballers. His father Pablo had played for the Uruguay national football team during the 1966 FIFA World Cup held in England and the 1974 FIFA World Cup held in West Germany and his grandfather (through his mother), Juan Carlos Corazo, played for Independiente in Argentina.

Club career
Early career

Forlán, son of former player and Uruguayan international Pablo Forlán, was a promising tennis player in his youth, but when his sister Alejandra was involved in a car accident which killed her boyfriend and left her in intensive care for five months, he decided to follow the family tradition and concentrate on football. He played for several South American clubs, including Argentine side Independiente before transferring in January 2002 to play for Manchester United in England for a fee of £6.9 million.

Manchester United

He made his debut for the team on 29 January against Bolton Wanderers, but did not score his first goal for the club, a penalty, until 18 September in a Champions League game against Maccabi Haifa. It took him eight months and 27 games to score that first goal, to the extent that he was dubbed "Diego Forlorn" and "Diego Birtles" (after Garry Birtles, a former United striker who had flopped) for his goal drought by some quarters of the English press.

Forlán enjoyed the occasional patch of scoring, but inconsistency blighted his time at United. He was, however, noted for scoring important goals, such as the late equaliser at home to Aston Villa and the remarkable volleyed winner in the last minutes of the home game against Chelsea during United's Premiership-winning season of 2002–03. During this period, Forlán became known for characteristically removing his shirt and baring his torso in celebration of his goals. The first such example of this routine resulted in quite an amusing incident; Forlán whipped his shirt off in excitement after scoring an 85th minute winner against Southampton in November 2002 but struggled to get it back on in time for the re-start of play, resulting in the spectacle of Forlán briefly running around the Old Trafford pitch bare-chested, with his shirt still in his hand, then recovering the ball for his team. The referee soon stopped play and ordered Forlán off the pitch to get dressed.

He became a fan favourite in 2002 when he scored two goals against Liverpool in a 2–1 victory at Anfield. Forlán's record of 17 goals from 95 appearances for the club does not compare favourably against his former teammate Ruud van Nistelrooy's 150 goals in 210 games, and it was widely thought that he would not start the 2004–05 season in the Red Devils' team colours. That eventually proving true after signing for Villareal in August of 2004, the same month Manchester United signed Wayne Rooney.


Forlán was strongly linked to a move to Spanish club Levante UD, but signed on 21 August 2004 with another Spanish club, Villarreal CF, where he became the Spanish 2004–05 season Pichichi Trophy with 25 goals, helping Villareal to their first ever UEFA Champions League spot. He also jointly won the European Golden Boot award with Thierry Henry.

Atlético Madrid

Forlán was linked to transfer with Juan Román Riquelme to Atlético Madrid in exchange for Luis Perea and money in June 2007. On 30 June 2007, following the departure of their captain Fernando Torres to Liverpool, Atlético Madrid confirmed that they had agreed a fee of around €21 million.[1] He returned to England in February 2008 to take part in Atlético's UEFA Cup clash against Bolton Wanderers (the club against whom he made his Manchester United debut), but the side lost out 1–0 on aggregate. For the 2008–09 season, he was once again the recipient of the La Liga Pichichi Trophy award, with 32 goals in 33 matches, as well as the European Golden Boot for a second time.

On 22 April 2010, Forlán scored the only goal of the game in Atlético's Europa League semi-final first leg at home to Liverpool. A week later, Liverpool took the tie to extra time before taking a 2–1 aggregate lead. Forlán then scored again to make it 2–2 on aggregate, giving Atlético the away goal they needed to reach the final, in which they played against Fulham at Hamburg's HSH Nordbank Arena on 12 May. Forlán scored twice against Fulham in the Final, in a 2–1 win.

International career

Forlán debuted for the Uruguayan national team in 2002. He scored in the 2002 FIFA World Cup against Senegal with a volley. He also scored against Brazil in the 35th minute of the 2007 Copa América semi-final. However, he missed his shot during the subsequent penalty shootout, which Brazil ultimately won 5–4. Since the 2007 Copa America, Forlán has become a regular for Uruguay and often has a place in the starting XI. On 17 June 2008, he scored a hat trick in a World Cup qualifying game against Peru. During the second game in the 2010 FIFA World Cup against the South Africa national football team he scored a 25 yard shot that took a deflection off Aaron Mokeona. This was his 25th national goal.


Manchester United

* Premier League (1): 2002–03
* FA Cup (1): 2003–04
* FA Community Shield (1): 2003


* UEFA Intertoto Cup (1): 2004

Atlético Madrid

* UEFA Europa League (1): 2009–10


* European Golden Shoe (2): 2004–05*, 2008–09
* Pichichi Trophy (2): 2004–05, 2008–09

(* Jointly shared with Thierry Henry)

Personal life

Forlán is in partnership with the Argentine fashion model and actress Zaira Nara.


* Diego Forlán and Youri Djorkaeff were, respectively, members of the Uruguay and France squads that met in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Their fathers, Pablo and Jean, featured in the match between Uruguay and France at the 1966 FIFA World Cup.
* In 2009, Forlán appeared in a music video for Coti starring alongside Maxi Rodríguez.

Source: Wikipedia

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