Diego Forlán

Diego Forlán
Diego Forlán
Diego Forlán vs the Netherlands.jpg
Forlán in 2011
Personal information
Full name Diego Forlán Corazo
Date of birth 19 May 1979 (1979-05-19) (age 32)
Place of birth Montevideo, Uruguay
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Internazionale
Number 9
Youth career
1990–1991 Peñarol
1991–1994 Danubio
1994–1997 Independiente
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2001 Independiente 80 (37)
2001–2004 Manchester United 63 (10)
2004–2007 Villarreal 106 (54)
2007–2011 Atlético Madrid 134 (74)
2011– Internazionale 5 (1)
National team
2002– Uruguay 84 (32)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 october 2011.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 October 2011

Diego Forlán Corazo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈdjeɣo foɾˈlan]; born 19 May 1979) is an Uruguayan footballer who plays as a striker for Internazionale and the Uruguayan national team. He is a two-time winner of both the Pichichi Trophy and the European Golden Shoe, and also received the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2010 World Cup.

Forlán was born into a family of footballers, his father Pablo having played for São Paulo (1970–1975) and Uruguay in the 1966 and 1974 World Cups and his maternal grandfather, Juan Carlos Corazo, for Independiente in Argentina.[2]

Forlán joined Independiente himself after rising through their youth team, and after a successful four-year spell, he signed for Manchester United of England's Premier League. His form for United was not as successful as at Independiente, although he won the Premier League in 2003 and the FA Cup in 2004. In the Summer of 2004 he moved on to La Liga side Villarreal.

In his first season in Spanish football with Villarreal, Forlán scored 25 league goals and won the Pichichi Trophy. After two more successful seasons with Villarreal, Forlán joined Atlético Madrid, where he once again became the league's top scorer, and became the first player to win the Pichichi Trophy twice since Ronaldo achieved this feat in 2003–04. Forlán scored in Atlético's 2010 Europa League final victory against Fulham. In 2011 he joined Internazionale of Italy's Serie A.

Forlán also has a successful international career, having scored 32 times for his country since his 2002 debut. He scored once at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. He was the joint top scorer by scoring five times at the 2010 World Cup, in which he scored twice against the host nation South Africa, once against Ghana in the quarter-finals, once against the Netherlands in the semi-finals and once against Germany in the third place play-off. Despite scoring five goals, Forlan was beaten to the Golden Boot by Thomas Müller of Germany, as he also had 3 assists. David Villa of [[Spain national football team|Spain won the Silver Boot. Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands won the Bronze Boot. Forlán was however recognized with the Golden Ball award, given to the best player at the tournament.[3]

On 12 July 2011, at the 2011 Copa América in Argentina, Forlán earnt his 79th Uruguayan cap, against Mexico, breaking the record held by former goalkeeper Rodolfo Rodriguez since 1986. Forlán is currently Uruguay's leading top scorer at international level.


Club career

Early career

Born in Montevideo, Forlán, son of former player and Uruguayan international Pablo Forlán, was a promising tennis player in his youth. But he decided to follow the family tradition and concentrate on football when his sister Alejandra was involved in a car accident, which killed her boyfriend and left her in intensive care for five months and handicapped thereafter. In 1995, when he was 16, Forlán was brought to France by manager László Bölöni, and spent several months on trial at AS Nancy. However, the club opted against signing him, and Forlán returned to South America. He played for several South American clubs, including Argentine side Independiente, where he made his name in football as a goalscorer. His goalscoring feats attracted the attention of European sides, and in January 2002 he signed for Manchester United in the English Premier League for a fee of £6.9 million.[4]

Manchester United

At Old Trafford, Forlan was not as prolific as he had been and became later. He was known for scoring important goals, such as the late equaliser at home to Aston Villa and a winning goal from a volley in the last minutes of the home game against Chelsea during United's Premier League-winning season of 2002–03. He became a fan favourite when he scored two goals against Liverpool in a 2–1 victory at Anfield. During this period, Forlán became known for removing his shirt and baring his torso in celebration of his goals. The first occasion saw him whipping 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 before play restarted. This resulted in him briefly playing without a shirt on. The referee had to stop play, and he ordered Forlán off the pitch to get dressed.

Forlán's 17 goals in 95 appearances (goal every 5.5 games) for United did not compare favourably to his former teammate Ruud van Nistelrooy's 150 goals in 210 games (goal every 1.4 games), and it was widely thought Forlán would not start the 2004–05 season playing for Manchester United. He signed for Villarreal CF of La Liga in Spain, in August 2004, the same month Wayne Rooney joined United.


Forlán was strongly linked with a move to Spanish clubs Levante UD and Athletic Bilbao (although Athletic only permit Basque players, Forlan is of Basque descent[5]), but on 21 August 2004 he signed with Villarreal CF.

At Villarreal, he became the La Liga 2004–05 season Pichichi Trophy winner with 25 goals in 38 appearances (goal every 1.5 games) and helped Villarreal to their first ever UEFA Champions League spot. He also jointly won the European Golden Boot award with Thierry Henry (then of Arsenal).

His goal rate declined in the 2005–06 season as Villarreal underwent several changes, yet the club reached the semi-finals of the Champions League where they were knocked out by Arsenal.

In 2006–07, he ended the season with 19 goals in 36 league appearances (goal every .53 games).

Atlético Madrid

2007–08 season

Forlán was linked with a transfer jointly with Juan Román Riquelme to Atlético Madrid in exchange for Luis Perea plus cash in June 2007. On 30 June 2007, following the departure of their captain Fernando Torres to Liverpool, Atlético Madrid confirmed that they had agreed to a fee of around 21 million.[6] 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. In May 2008, Forlán helped Atlético qualify for the Champions League for the first time in over a decade, scoring the winning goal against Deportivo La Coruña.[7] He ended his first season in Madrid with 23 goals, and formed a potent partnership with Argentinian striker Sergio Agüero.

2008–09 season

On 9 May 2009, Forlán scored twice against Espanyol to help Atlético clinch Champions League qualification for a second successive year.[8] Los Rojiblancos were trailing 2–0 at half-time and had seen Luis Perea sent off, but came back to win 3–2 thanks to a goal of the season contender from Forlán, as well as a last minute winner. He also scored crucial goals in wins over Barcelona, Villarreal and Valencia. On 23 May 2009, Forlán scored a hat-trick against Athletic Bilbao, which helped him win the La Liga Pichichi Trophy award, as well as the European Golden Boot for a second time.[9] He ended the 2008–09 season with a very impressive 32 goals in 33 matches (essentially a goal per game).

2009–10 season

Forlán playing for Atlético Madrid.

Forlán started the 2009–10 season slowly, and struggled for form as Atlético made their worst start to a league season since their relegation in 2000. On 24 October 2009, Forlán scored a penalty and missed another as Atlético were held to a 1–1 draw at home against Mallorca, who had played the majority of the second half with just nine players on the field. The disappointing result and performance led to protests from Atlético supporters,[10] as well as criticism for Forlán, who was subsequently left out of the squad for the next game.[11] Atlético started to improve after the arrival new manager Quique Sánchez Flores, and once again, Forlán flourished in the second half of the season, as Atlético reached the finals of both the Europa League and Copa del Rey. On 14 February 2010, Forlán scored the first goal as Atlético beat Barcelona 2–1 at the Vicente Calderón, inflicting the eventual Champions only league defeat of the season.[12] 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 Volksparkstadion on 12 May.[13] Forlán scored twice against Fulham in the final, in a 2–1 win and was awarded man of the match.[14] He ended the season with a total of 28 goals, including six in Atlético's successful Europa League campaign.

2010–11 season

The 2010–11 season began with another trophy for Forlán and Atlético, winning the UEFA Super Cup, beating Internazionale 2–0 in Monaco on 27 August 2010.[15] Again Forlán started the season slowly, and despite finding the net three times in the opening two league games, he then went 12 matches in all competitions without a goal before finally scoring a double in a 3–0 win against Osasuna on 13 November.[16] He speculated Beşiktaş, Real Madrid and American club Seattle Sounders attempted to sign him in the January transfer window.[17]


On 29 August 2011, it was confirmed that Diego Forlán had joined Internazionale following the departure of Samuel Eto'o.[18] He made his debut on 11 September 2011, scoring a late goal in a 4–3 defeat at Sicilian club Palermo.[19]

International career

Forlán made his debut for Uruguay on 27 March 2002, scoring his first goal in a 2–3 friendly defeat against Saudi Arabia.[20][21] During the 2002 World Cup, he scored a volley on 11 June 2002 in the group stage 3–3 draw against Senegal.[22] Despite coming from three goals down to draw the game, Uruguay were eliminated from the tournament along with France in Group A.[23] 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 shoot-out, which Brazil ultimately won 5–4.[24] Since the 2007 Copa America, Forlán has become a regular for Uruguay, often in the starting XI. On 17 June 2008, he scored a hat-trick in a World Cup qualifying game against Peru.[25]

Diego Forlán and Youri Djorkaeff were, respectively, members of the Uruguay and France squads that met in the 2002 World Cup, in Group A. Their resepctive fathers, Pablo and Jean, featured in the match between Uruguay and France at the 1966 World Cup, which was also in Group A.

Forlán is currently Uruguay's all-time most capped player with 84 caps. On 11 October 2011, He scored his 32nd goal make him the top scorer of all time beating Héctor Scarone who had held the record alone with 31 goals since 1930.[26]

2002 FIFA World Cup

Forlán was not a regular first-team player at the time of the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, having only made his debut (scoring a goal) against Saudi Arabia earlier that year. Then of Manchester United, Forlán wore the number 21 shirt for Uruguay in the tournament. The manager, Victor Pua, favoured an attacking three of Alvaro Recoba, Sebastian Abreu and Dario Silva. After missing the first two matches of the group (a 2-1 loss to Denmark and a 0-0 draw with France), Forlán came on as a substitute in the final group game against Senegal, as part of a half-time double switch. When he came on for Abreu, his side were 3-0 down. Forlán scored in the 69th minute to make it 3-2 and Recoba equalised from a penalty with two minutes remaining. However Denmark's victory over France put them through ahead of Uruguay.

2004 Copa América

Forlán wore the number 21 for Uruguay at the Copa América in Peru, shortly before his transfer from Manchester United to Villarreal. He played all six games as they, under the management of Jorge Fossati, came third. Forlán's only goal was in the 2-1 victory over Ecuador, Uruguay's only group win. They advanced in third place out of four in the group.

2007 Copa América

Forlán wore the number 21 for Oscar Tabarez's Uruguay team for the 2007 Copa America in Venezuela, shortly after his transfer from Villarreal to Atlético Madrid. He did not score in Group A as they advanced in third out of four, losing 3-0 to Peru, beating Bolivia 1-0, and drawing 0-0 with the hosts.

They met Venezuela again in the first quarter-final on July 7. Forlán scored twice (one after 38 minutes and one in injury time) as his country won 4-1. In the semi-final against eventual winners Brazil, Forlan equalised Maicon's goal to make it 1-1 after 36 minutes, but the game ended 2-2. Uruguay lost on 4-5 on sudden-death penalties with Forlán missing the first one. Afonso Alves missed for Brazil, prompting sudden death, where Diego Lugano missed for Uruguay and Gilberto Melo scored for the Brazilians.

2010 FIFA World Cup

Forlán (right) with Luis Suárez at the 2010 World Cup.

On 16 June 2010, during Uruguay's second group game in the 2010 World Cup against South Africa, Forlán opened the scoring with a long range effort. Later in the game, Forlán scored from the penalty spot for his second and also had a hand in Uruguay's third, in a 3–0 win over the host nation.[27] On 2 July 2010, Forlán scored a free kick against Ghana to equalise in the quarter-final. The game ended 1–1 and Uruguay advanced to the semi-finals after defeating Ghana 4–2 in the penalty shootout.[28] On 6 July 2010, Forlán scored another long range goal, this time with his left foot to equalise against the Netherlands in the semi-final. Despite a half-time score of 1–1, Uruguay eventually lost 3–2 as the Dutch advanced to the final.[29] Forlán became the first player since Lothar Matthäus in 1990 to score three goals from outside the penalty area in one tournament.[30] On 10 July 2010, Forlán scored for the final time in the tournament as he netted a well-executed volley from the edge of the area to give Uruguay the lead. This goal, from a pass by Arévalo Ríos, was selected by FIFA as the Goal of the Tournament.[31] Forlán then hit the crossbar with the final kick of the game from a free-kick as they lost to Germany 3–2 in the third place play-off.[32] Forlán was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player. He was also picked for the team of the tournament, and was one of the top scorers at the World Cup with 5 goals.[33]

2011 Copa América

On 24 July 2011, Forlán scored twice after Luis Suarez's opening goal helping Uruguay win their 15th Copa America title and became Uruguay's joint top scorer at international level, his 31 goals matching those of Hector Scarone after beating Paraguay 3–0 in the final . Forlan's father and grandfather were also South American champions with Uruguay over a period spanning the 95 years of the world's oldest active tournament.[34]

International goals and caps

Uruguay's goal tally first.

Statistics accurate as of match played 11 october 2011[35][36]

Career statistics


Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Other[37] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Independiente 1998–99 2 0 0 0 2 0
1999–2000 24 7 0 0 24 7
2000–01 36 18 6 2 42 20
2001–02 18 12 5 1 23 13
Total 80 37 11 3 91 40
Manchester United 2001–02 13 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 18 0
2002–03 25 6 2 0 5 2 13 1 45 9
2003–04 24 4 2 1 1 1 4 2 1 0 32 8
2004–05 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 0
Total 63 10 4 1 6 3 23 3 2 0 98 17
Villarreal 2004–05 38 25 1 0 0 0 39 25
2005–06 32 10 2 0 13 3 47 13
2006–07 36 19 4 1 2 1 44 21
Total 106 54 8 1 15 4 128 59
Atlético Madrid 2007–08 36 16 6 1 11 6 53 23
2008–09 33 32 3 1 9 2 45 35
2009–10 33 18 6 3 17 7 56 28
2010–11 32 8 3 1 6 1 1 0 42 10
Total 134 74 17 6 45 16 1 0 197 96
Internazionale 2011–12 5 1 0 0 0 0 5 1
Total 5 1 0 0 0 0 5 1
Career total 388 176 28 8 6 3 94 26 3 0 522 213

Statistics accurate as of match played 1 october 2011[38][39]


Uruguay national team
Year Apps Goals
2002 5 2
2003 7 5
2004 11 2
2005 9 2
2006 3 0
2007 9 5
2008 7 3
2009 9 3
2010 11 7
2011 13 3
Total 84 32

Statistics accurate as of match played 11 october 2011[40][41]

Awards and honours


Manchester United
Atlético Madrid

National team



(* Jointly shared with Thierry Henry)

Personal life

A founding member of Fundación Alejandra Forlán, headed by his sister, Forlán is outspoken on the perils of dangerous driving. Back in 1991, Alejandra suffered a car accident where she lost her boyfriend and became paralyzed as a result. Diego Maradona met Forlan's father during that time, since he was a footballer in the 1970s, and helped him raise funds for his daughter’s treatment. She became an integral part of his inspiration to play football, and the whole family has gathered round to make sure the foundation is given as high a profile as his in Uruguay.[42]

In 2009, Forlán appeared in a music video for Coti starring alongside Maxi Rodríguez.[43] On July 2010, Forlán had his match-winning antics at the FIFA World Cup 2010 immortalised in the style of the famous Japanese series Captain Tsubasa. The celebratory song was made by the faceless band The Golden Vuvuzelas with music from the Super Robot anime series Mazinger Z.[44]

Forlán announced on 9 March 2011 on his official Twitter page that he and Argentinian model/actress Zaira Nara were engaged to be married.[45] However, in June 2011, Forlan and Nara announced they were breaking their engagement. However no reason was released for the breakup.[46]


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  2. ^ Ben Lyttleton: In Suarez's absence Uruguay will lean even more heavily on Forlan at Sports Illustrated, 4 July 2010.
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  4. ^ http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/sport/article-357064-united-seal-69m-forlan-deal.do
  5. ^ "Forlán dona su camiseta al Museo del Athletic". Canal Athletic. 13 September 2010. http://www.canalathletic.com/noticias/2010-09-13/forlan-dona-camiseta-museo-201009131102.html. 
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  8. ^ "Atlético Madrid 3-2 Espanyol". soccernet.espn.go.com. 9 May 2009. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=253097&cc=5739. 
  9. ^ "Forlán claims Golden Shoe and Pichichi awards". UEFA.com. 1 June 2009. http://www.uefa.com/footballeurope/news/kind=2/newsid=835149.html. 
  10. ^ "Atlético Madrid fans stage protest following Real Mallorca draw". Goal.com. 24 October 2009. http://www.goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2009/10/25/1582906/atletico-madrid-fans-stage-protest-following-real-mallorca. 
  11. ^ "Diego Forlán Left Out Of Atlético Madrid Squad To Face Marbella". Goal.com. 26 October 2009. http://www.goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2009/10/26/1585322/diego-forlan-left-out-of-atletico-madrid-squad-to-face. 
  12. ^ "Barcelona suffer first La Liga defeat". The Independent (London). 15 February 2010. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/barcelona-suffer-first-la-liga-defeat-1900087.html. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  13. ^ Ornstein, David (29 April 2010). "Liverpool 2–1 Atlético Madrid (agg 2–2)". BBC Sport (BBC). http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/europe/8649664.stm. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
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  15. ^ "Atlético stun Inter in Super Cup". BBC Sport (BBC). 27 August 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/8951467.stm. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Forlan finds form in Atlético win". Yahoo. 13 November 2010. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/13112010/58/la-liga-forlan-finds-form-atletico-win.html. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "Real Madrid fail in bid to sign United flop Diego Forlan from city rivals Atletico". Daily Mail (London). 29 January 2011. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1351586/Real-Madrid-fail-bid-sign-United-flop-Diego-Forlan-city-rivals-Atletico.html?ito=feeds-newsxml. 
  18. ^ Forlan: "I'm here and I want to score goals"
  19. ^ "Palermo 4 - 3 Internazionale". ESPN Soccernet. 11 September 2011. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=327188&cc=5739. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
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  21. ^ "2002 Matches – Intercontinental (January – March)". RSSSF. http://www.rsssf.com/intldetails/2002ic1.html. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  22. ^ "Senegal cling on to qualify". BBC Sport. 11 June 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/worldcup2002/hi/matches_wallchart/senegal_v_uruguay/default.stm. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  23. ^ "Senegal cling on to qualify". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Company). 11 June 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/worldcup2002/hi/matches_wallchart/senegal_v_uruguay/default.stm. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  24. ^ "Copa America: Brazil eliminates Uruguay on penalties". International Herald Tribune. 29 March 2009. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/07/11/sports/LA-SPT-SOC-Brazil-Uruguay.php. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  25. ^ "Uruguay 6-0 Peru". ESPN Soccernet (ESPN). 17 May 2008. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=230019&cc=5739. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  26. ^ http://www.inter.it/aas/news/reader?N=37776&L=en
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  29. ^ "Uruguay 2-3 Netherlands". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Company). 6 July 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/matches/match_61. Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  30. ^ "Happy Holland edge Uruguay 3-2 to reach their third World Cup Final". www.sportsfeatures.com (Sports Features). 6 July 2010. http://www.sportsfeatures.com/soccernews/story/47129/holland-explode-into-3-1-lead-to-close-in-on-third-world-cup-final. Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  31. ^ "Goal of the tournament. FIFA Worldcup 2010.". http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/southafrica2010/goalofthetournament/video/video=1272480/index.html. 
  32. ^ "Uruguay 2-3 Germany". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Company). 10 July 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/matches/match_63. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  33. ^ http://espndeportes.espn.go.com/futbol/copa-mundial/blog?entryID=1059182&name=Sudafreaka_2010
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  36. ^ http://soccernet.espn.go.com/player/_/id/18587/diego-mart%C3%ADn-forl%C3%A1n?cc=4716
  37. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup
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  39. ^ http://soccernet.espn.go.com/player/_/id/18587/diego-mart%C3%ADn-forl%C3%A1n?cc=4716
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  41. ^ http://soccernet.espn.go.com/player/_/id/18587/diego-mart%C3%ADn-forl%C3%A1n?cc=4716
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  43. ^ "Coti – Nunca Tendré – Maxi Rodriguez y Forlán". Mazcue.com.ar. http://www.mazcue.com.ar/coti-nunca-tendre-maxi-rodriguez-forlan/. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
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  46. ^ Greig Box-Turnbull (18 June 2011). "Diego Forlan's wedding to underwear model is called off". Daily Mirror. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/06/18/diego-forlan-s-wedding-to-underwear-model-is-called-off-115875-23208623/. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 

Internazionale Milano move - http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/949710/atletico-madrid-striker-diego-forlan-on-verge-of-inter-milan-move?cc=5901

External links

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