Once the most capped player and top goal scorer in Uruguay international football history, Diego Forlan was one of his nation’s most famous sporting icons. A star at the 2010 World Cup, we take a look at some of the top quotes about Diego Forlan.
Twice the season’s top goalscorer in the La Liga, and twice the winner of the European Golden Shoe, Forlan competed in a then record 112 international games for Uruguay, and netted 36 goals.
His goal scoring ability attracted the attentions of English Premier League side Manchester United, and he was signed up by them in early 2002. Forlan had a difficult time at United, with his first goal coming eight months after making his debut.
However, after moving to Spain, he upped the ante and in seven seasons he clocked a superb 128 league goals in only 240 games, playing for both Villarreal and Atletico Madrid.
The best performance of his career came in the World Cup competition in 2010, when he was the joint top goalscorer with five goals, and was voted the player of the tournament, the ‘Golden Ball’ as his nation reached the semi-finals.
Forlan did win the 2011 Copa America with Uruguay, having won the Premier League with Manchester United earlier in his career, and were the two top honours of his 21-year career.
Known for being able to score with either foot, Forlan was a capable and versatile forward, who struck a total of 222 league goals in 525 matches during his career.
“Forlan’s running this game – he could play in his slippers!”
Mark Lawrenson (comment during 2010 World Cup)
“Diego was better with a partner…..But he scored some priceless goals. He was a good player and a terrific pro.”
Alex Ferguson (former Manchester United manager)
“You don’t know what you’ve done; you will be remembered for this for years…..”
Gary Neville (Manchester United player, after goals vs Liverpool)
“The players and supporters love Diego because he keeps trying…..He was only a young lad when he came over from South America.”
“I like the look of the Uruguayans…..I think Forlan would have another two or three good years in the Premier League…..”
Harry Redknapp (Tottenham Hotspur manager)
“The Uruguayan wrote his name in the annals of the Rojiblancos. He became immortal in Hamburg. Forlan was Neptune, the God of the European seas and chief of the Rojiblancos family.”
Marca (Spanish daily newspaper)
“I was honoured to share the dressing room with Forlan. He has played football at the highest level. I learnt a lot from him on and off the pitch. He’s not just a great player but also an amazing person and I’m still in touch with him.”
Ashutosh Mehta (Mohun Bagan team-mate)
“I will always be grateful for what you taught me, both on and off the field, a dream to have played with one of my idols. You will always be a legend in Uruguay.”
Luis Suarez (former Uruguay team-mate)
“Forlan must be nearing legendary status…..”
Ian Brown (BBC Five Live journalist)
“As the winner of the Golden Ball – the best player in the last World Cup in South Africa, in large part thanks to his tournament-leading five goals as he led Uruguay to its best showing at soccer’s showcase event in 40 years – Forlan will bring a global appeal largely missing from the current TFC squad.”
Paul Attfield (Globe and Mail journalist, on potential move to Toronto FC)
“Forlan’s attitude is fantastic…..”
“If a player tried – and Diego did – we’d drag him with us; we’d try and help him…..Diego was honest…..”
Roy Keane (former Manchester United team-mate)
“He has been just fantastic and we’re all proud of him…..There was never a problem with him at Old Trafford…..He could have been a hero. He was a great lad and a magnificent professional.”
“Diego, Wooahh, Diego, wooaah. He came from Uruguay, he made the Scousers cry.”
Manchester United fans (after two goals vs Liverpool)
“He is an exciting player who has plenty of talent and a bright future ahead of him. I am sure he will come and play well at United…..We’ve watched him three times and think he has good potential, two good feet, he’s quick and a good header of the ball. At 22 he represents a good future.”
“He was a character and a leader in the dressing room. He used to guide Indian players and foreigners. We used to look up to him and learn new things. It was an amazing time. His experience and mentality helped Mumbai get to the play-offs that season.”
“Forlan gets the ball inside the box, on the edge of the box and puts it away from inside the box…..”
“Diego would be a huge name but he is by no means the only star…..”
“…..tough, grand player…..”