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Diego Forlan
Gender Male
Ethnic Uruguayan
Job Uruguayan Footballer
Desc Another South American whose Manchester United career was underwhelming at best, Diego Forlan went on to enjoy a stellar career upon his exit from Old Trafford in 2004. The Uruguayan hitman excelled at Villarreal and ​Atletico Madrid, finding the back of the net 128 times in La Liga, and was at the peak of his powers during the 2010 World Cup where he was voted as the tournament’s best player for his Jabulani-defying heroics


Org Uruguay National Team
Club as Player Manchester United
  Atletico Madrid


Wife Paz Cardozo

2015 03 12 Retrieve

[Diego Forlan announces international retirement] It was a privilege to enjoy the national team and be part of a group that gave so much to our country, wear the shirt with great people

2015 08 01 Retrieve

[Diego Forlan about his coaching plans] I’d love to work as a duo with my brother. He played football too, as a defender, and my dad was a player, too. We’re a very close family as a whole and of course the three of us - my dad, my brother and I - are always going on about football. They were both defenders and I’m a striker, so we could get a good team going

2016 08 26 Retrieve

[The former Manchester United and Inter Milan striker has expounded on why he chose the ISL over the other leagues] I am 37 and about to move to India to continue my football career. The world’s second-most populous country will be the eighth in which I have lived and played professional football after Argentina, England, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Japan and Uruguay.

[Wrting about the extent to which he looks after his fitness habits] I keep really fit. I wake up at 7am each morning and work out with a personal trainer. I still have the drive and motivation to play. I still feel sharp in front of goal and I was playing for the national team until last year

[Expressing the notion behind his choosing India as his next destination in a career that has spanned over 500 league games] So, why India? It is different, for a start. I had offers to play in England this summer and last. The only team I will play for in England is Manchester United. If Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford all get injured, I would be happy to go on an emergency loan and help out United. Maybe play at Liverpool away, score a goal or two and then make way when the injured come back.

I had offers from Spain and Italy, too. But I feel that I have done my time in both countries, sampled the life there and enjoyed myself. Now I am ready for something new. India is definitely that. Cricket is the Number one sport, especially in Mumbai where I am headed, but the ISL has been a success.

The average attendances across all the games was 27,224 last season. That makes it the fifth-highest average for any league in the world. Atletico de Kolkata, who have links to my old club Atletico Madrid, had a crowd of 68,000 for one game

The standards are improving, too. When the league started in 2014, the big-name foreign players tended to be ones who had just retired. Now, because the Indian League wants to improve standards, they are attracting people who are still playing. Nicolas Anelka, Elano, Roberto Carlos, Adrian Mutu, Florent Malouda, Helder Postiga, Didier Zokora and John Arne Riise and my old teammate Simao were all involved last year

[He further added on the coaches and the format of India’s most popular league] Some will be involved again, while Steve Coppell and Gianluca Zambrotta have already been confirmed as managers. The teams are spending serious money to get good footballers. The league may be extended next year from the current three-month format

[The former Manchester United star forward propagated the notion of quitting football once he fell out of love with his vocation] I do not intend to stop when the Indian Super League, which only lasts for three months this season, finishes before the end of 2016. I would happily play in North America next year and have already had people sounding me out about it. I do it because I love football. It is my job. It is what I get paid to do and it is what I still enjoy. If I did not, I would quit

I have happy memories from all. Some worked out better than others and I would have rather played more games and scored more goals at Manchester United or Inter Milan, but I look back at my career with pride. People used to say that a football career was 15 years. I have been playing professional football for 20 and have no intention of stopping. My father always told me to enjoy playing while I could, so I am doing that

[About his wife Paz Cardozo] Football has allowed me to see the world and in Paz, I have a wife who is keen to see the world with me. She was happy to move to Brazil and Japan. She was also happy to be back in our native Uruguay for the birth of our first child, Martin.

Some players have partners who are not keen to move around. If Paz did not want to, I would not be going to India, but this is a lady who did really well learning Japanese when we lived there, who climbed Mount Fuji without me and who learnt to paint in a Japanese style. She is enthusiastic about moving to India and taking our son with us

2019 07 29 Retrieve

[Diego Forlan says Joao Felix has a big future ahead of him at Atletico Madrid following his record-breaking move from Benfica] I saw him at Benfica and he did spectacular things. He’s a different player and he’s lucky to now be part of a hard-working and humble team. They know that they’ve achieved what they have through effort and sacrifice and some of that is down to the coaching staff. If he’s humble, respectful and can listen, he’ll be a player who grows up to give us a lot to talk about. He has a big future

[The Uruguayan believes that Atletico Madrid are on the right path to finally win the European Cup one day] They came very close twice. Once leading until the 93rd minute and losing the other on penalties. They’re on the right track but everyone prepares themselves to win the Champions League. Nobody wants to cross Atletico because of what they’ve achieved. They’ve earned respect

[Forlan went on to praise the club’s steady progress over the last decade] They grow year after year. They changed the stadium and they’ve shown their development in the most important way - with results. Diego Simeone’s arrival has meant that year after year the players change but the requirements are the same

2019 08 07 Retrieve

[Former Man United and Atletico Madrid forward Forlan announces retirement] It hasn’t been easy, I didn’t want the time to come, but I knew it was going to come. I have decided to stop playing football professionally

2019 08 15 Retrieve

[Diego Forlan himself said of the 19-year-old Joao Felix] If he’s humble, respectful and can listen, he’ll be a player who grows up to give us a lot to talk about. He has a big future

2019 08 17 Retrieve

[Diego Forlan says Cristiano Ronaldo was an egotist in the Manchester United dressing room who always wanted to be near a mirror] Ronaldo was an egotist in the dressing room, not like Beckham. Cristiano always wanted to be near a mirror. He spent all day looking in the mirror

[Following an FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, the manager kicked a boot across the dressing room that hit the midfielder in the face, grazing his eyebrow, with Beckham subsequently sold to Real Madrid a few months later] In the locker room, Ferguson and Beckham began to insult each other. Every insult was worse than the last one and both men wanted to have the final word. Then Ferguson left and it seemed that the discussion was over, but then Beckham said something else. [The manager] turned around and saw a boot lying on the floor and kicked it toward [him]. We all saw the blood and thought ‘no, that didn’t happen’ but within a moment both men were getting ready to fight. That was when Roy Keane and Van Nistelrooy stepped in to separate them

2019 09 05 Retrieve

[Diego Forlan says La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid can capitalise on aging Barcelona and Real Madrid sides in the 2019-20 title race] Yes. Well, we have to see. I know that Real Madrid and Barcelona have great players but so do Atletico Madrid. They signed really good players, Joao Felix as I said, and Diego Costa is an experienced player, great talent. They’ve renewed the team with some great young players. They had a great pre-season and now we need to see how they do in the league. But they look really good. What they showed in the pre-season was interesting, great games against great teams. The derby against Real Madrid, I know it was a friendly but it was also a derby and nobody likes to lose by that kind of score [7-3].

They’re going to be fighting [for the title], they always fight. The gap is getting a little closer now. And those players that made history for Real Madrid and Barcelona, they’re getting older as well. That could be an advantage for Atletico Madrid. Having a new team and renewing the team every season. Real Madrid and Barcelona are doing it a little slower than Atletico but they’re still in great shape. Great players with experience. We have to see, but I think Atletico Madrid are in a good position to fight for the title again

2019 12 21 Retrieve

[Former Manchester United forward Diego Forlan has been appointed head coach of Uruguayan giants Penarol] To have my first experience in a club of traditions and of a high level like Penarol is more than I dreamed of. When you play you notice if you like football itself. It isn’t only about playing. I enjoy it, I like it, I analyze it, I see it. To me this is a huge joy, it’s such an honour to be the person selected to be the leader of this project, of this club very important for me and for my family. I’m very honoured and proud. Having travelled all over the world taught me a lot

2019 12 21b Retrieve

[Having travelled all over the world taught me a lot] How every country lives football, how the prepare for the day to day, how the cultural side affects the working tactics on the different teams. Then it’s 11v11 inside the field but there are some things you have to realise that won’t be the same in Japan, here in Uruguay or in Spain. I’ve learned a lot from all of them. I’ve learned a lot from the Spanish football, from the Italian football, from the Brazilian football. For me, that’s an advantage of having travelled all over the world and being able to learn it. To experience it and adding things because I don’t have a crystal ball, and neither do the Spanish or the Japanese. I think a bit of everything is important to do something better

2019 12 27 Retrieve

[Diego Forlan says Edinson Cavani and Atletico Madrid would suit each other very well] It would be spectacular, he’d be a great signing for Atletico Madrid. He and the club would suit each other very well. It would be great for the present, but also the future. It seems to me like a signing for immediate performance, which is what Simeone needs at the moment. Furthermore, [Cavani]’s impact will be big from the first moment

[Forlan believes Cavani can help turn Atletico’s campaign around] I think that by signing [Cavani] Atleti would take another step towards completing their objectives for this season and those they’ll face in the following campaigns

2019 12 28 Retrieve

[Diego Forlan tells The Athletic a story about United’s pre-season tour of the USA in 2003] Ruud (van Nistelrooy) challenged me to a game. He played a bit of tennis but didn’t know I wasn’t a beginner. There was an atmosphere with the manager and the directors watching. Sir Alex said that he knew I’d played before and put money on me. I won the match and Sir Alex said that he won his money too

2020 04 07 Retrieve

[Fede Valverde is capable of becoming Real Madrid’s midfield version of Sergio Ramos, claims Diego Forlan, with the Uruguay international expected to thrive in Spain] He has the qualities to keep growing. He’s a good boy, a good professional. I’m not at all surprised by what I’m seeing of him, because [his qualities] were already there. He is gaining confidence, maturity, experience and is a player that Real Madrid’s supporters will enjoy for many years. I’ll risk saying that he can become in midfield what Sergio Ramos has been as a defender. I’m not surprised by his emergence, because it comes with age. Nowadays he’s realising where he is and he’s [now got] the maturity of life. That will help him a lot; the confidence, maturity, knowing the conditions he has and that he is appreciated a lot at the club

2020 04 07b Retrieve

[His former employers at Atletico Madrid invested heavily in Portuguese starlet Joao Felix ahead of the 2019-20 campaign] We’re all people, we’re not machines. We need time to adapt, to understand the coach. There is a reason why UEFA sets league levels and qualifies them in different ways; everything has its own process and time

2020 04 20 Retrieve

[Diego Forlan has fondly recalled the the deadly strike partnership he formed with Sergio Aguero during the pair’s time together at Atletico Madrid] I remember the year of the Golden Shoe with great affection. We all wanted to have that possibility of qualifying for the Champions League for the second time. It was what the club deserved for what they had done and had showcased. It was the beginning of what would come later with the Europa League title [the next season], so I remember it very fondly.

The streak was very good: 32 goals in 33 games. I started with a good number of goals. Then I was gaining confidence and more goals appeared, many of which from outside the area. With Kun, we made a very good duo. [We were] different, but we understood each other well. I dropped back when we were defending. When it came to attacking, one of us moved into the space which wasn’t occupied by the other. [My goal] against Barcelona was spectacular. Yaya Toure was marking me, we were losing 2-0 and I scored from 35 metres out into Victor Valdes far post

2020 04 20b Retrieve

[Forlan also thanked Atletico fans for their support during his time in Madrid, with supporters having made a special tribute to the Uruguayan ahead of a game with Real Madrid in September 2019] You don’t dream of individual trophies when you are young. You dream of being a football player. Doing things well ends up helping the team and ends up being important in helping the club achieve as many things as possible. It was what made me happy and made me feel fulfilled. [Atletico fans’] tribute was very special in the derby. I will always remember the affection of the club’s people and the fans

2020 05 05 Retrieve

[Diego Forlan is a big fan of Facundo Pellistri’s talents] Pellistri has huge potential. There is still a lot to work on. He is growing and he makes the difference. We know it will be difficult to keep him for a long time. He has great pace and that is hard to handle

If an offer comes from Boca, and the player decides to leave, he will. We know it’ll be hard to keep Pellistri much longer