Diego Forlán Biography

Soccer Player(1979–)
Uruguayan soccer star Diego Forlán was named the Golden Ball winner as the top player of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Synopsis

Born on May 19, 1979, in Montevideo, Uruguay, Diego Forlán began his professional soccer career in Argentina. Following a disappointing stint in England, the forward emerged as a top scorer with Spain's Villareal CF and Club Atlético de Madrid. Forlán won the Golden Ball Award as the top player at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and set his country's record for most international appearances a year later.

Formative Years

Diego Martín Forlán Corazo was born on May 19, 1979, in Montevideo, Uruguay. With a father who was a member of two World Cup soccerteams and a grandfather who had played professionally in Argentina, Forlán grew up immersed in the sport. He was also a talented tennis player, but a 1991 car accident that left his sister paralyzed prompted Forlán to focus on his soccer future. He joined the youth system of Club Atlético Peñarol and later moved to Argentina's Club Atlético Independiente, his grandfather's old team.

Early Professional Career

Forlán made his professional debut during the 1998-99 season and also suited up for Uruguay's junior national team at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship. He went on to score 40 goals over 91 career appearances for Independiente, displaying a flair that drew the attention of prominent European clubs.

Big things were expected after Forlán signed with Manchester United in January 2002, a season that ended with a Premier League title for United and the Uruguayan's first appearance in the World Cup that summer. However, he struggled to find his scoring touch for Alex Ferguson's squad and endured a disappointing 2 1/2-year tenure in England.

Scoring Machine

A move to Spain's Villareal CF in August 2004 revitalized Forlán, who blasted home 25 goals that season to win the Golden Shoe Award as Europe's top scorer. After three years with Villareal he signed with Club Atlético de Madrid, where he won his second Golden Shoe Award in 2009.

Forlán enjoyed a banner year in 2010. After scoring twice in Atlético's Europa League final victory, the blonde-haired forward was a virtual one-man wrecking crew during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Forlán tied for the tournament lead with five goals, powering Uruguay to a fourth-place finish to earn Golden Ball honors as the World Cup's top player.

Forlán established a record with his 80th international appearance for his country during the 2011 Copa América, then scored twice in the final to give Uruguay the win. However, the following club season with Italy's Internazionale was a let-down with Forlán struggling to earn regular playing time.

After signing a three-year deal with Brazil's Sport Club Internacional in July 2012, the veteran star set his sights on burnishing his impressive international résumé by helping Uruguay qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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