Rejuvenated Forlan must go down in greatness
Just who was Uruguay’s no.10 who took the 2010 World Cup by storm? Is it not Diego Forlan, the forward who failed to cut it at Manchester United? Is it not the player, who, fascinatingly took a mammoth 27 games to end a goal-drought spanning eight months while at the club? Is it not the player once dubbed ‘Diego Forlorn’ by the British media?
There are little good memories for Diego Forlan. A two-year long story that will certainly be cut short to about two minutes when told to the Grandchildren. Those years were dark, Forlan failed to make the impact that he had made on Argentinian football, where his exceptional form for Independiente had the whole of Europe on his tail. Why he could not replicate his deadly form into the Premier League is debatable, although you would argue that he simply could not settle and adapt to the fast, English game which may go somewhere to explaining his future successes in Spain.
Six years on, we saw a matured Diego Forlan in the possession of a captain’s armband and the expectation of a nation on his shoulders. He led from the front, inspired his team to success in South Africa that England can only dream of. What proved elusive for 28 other teams, reaching the semi-finals is in itself an achievement for a country that only just scraped through qualifying. And it was all because of chief tormentor Diego. Sure, his partner in crime Luis Suarez deserves a little credit for his role as goalscorer and emergency goalkeeper in this tournament, but Forlan was the stand out performer. If he wasn’t scoring goals, he was certainly creating them.
Off the pitch, Forlan is still quite the compelling character he is on it. His entire first paycheck at United went towards an operation for his sister who was on the brink of death. Forlan was just 12 years of age when she had been involved in a car crash which had killed her boyfriend instantly, and from then on Forlan vowed to do whatever he could do, that was get into football and become a superstar – which he has done. That is admirable.
And on the field, he continues to torment defences alike. In Uruguay’s third place play-off against Germany, one could not help supporting him rather than the two teams. You feel his sumptuous volley which had put his side 2-1 up had summed up his magnificent World Cup, just how he set the tournament alight. You can’t help but admire Forlan, whose remarkable reincarnation in the game has been nothing short of inspirational. He has now achieved greatness and well done to him.