Forlan nets his fifth goal in South Africa.
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Playing out of position, Diego Forlan deserved all the accolades he got from this World Cup. Golden Hair, Golden Ball. He certainly turned in some golden performances in South Africa.
A player virtually unrecognisable from the one who walked the turf at Manchester United from 2002-2004, the Uruguay striker - now turned playmaker - has come a long way since.
A moment that epitomised his time at United was when he took to the pitch as a substitute against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League semi-final in 2002 with his side desperate to score, and failed to make any impression at all.
He may have been loved by the fans for scoring a brace against Liverpool, but his career did not progress during his time in England and he was left with a mountain to climb upon his exit.
But climb he did. First sealing a move to Villarreal, he rediscovered his goalscoring touch and won the Spanish Pichichi award with 25 goals in 2004-05 - also claiming the European Golden Boot award in the process (jointly with Thierry Henry).
With confidence flowing through his veins again, a move to Atletico Madrid continued his rise and reached its peak when he bagged both goals in the Europa League win over Fulham last season. Suddenly, a player who had looked worthless when he left England was placed among the top strikers in Europe and, as the World Cup arrived, he was tipped for glory.
Part of a devastating attacking duo for Uruguay with the world’s most in-form striker, Luis Suarez, Forlan’s impact on the World Cup in taking his side to their first semi-final since 1970 was played out in unfamiliar territory.
Usually given the freedom to hang on the shoulder of the last defender, Forlan’s move to ‘the hole’ behind the strikers was an inspired one. A gifted dribbler, he was allowed room to direct the traffic and made sure he created numerous opportunities for his opponents without being exposed for his lack of pace.
The switch also allowed him to release one of the most potent weapons in his arsenal: his shooting from long-range. Using the Jabulani ball to his advantage, Forlan struck from outside the area more than any other player and single-handedly got his side back into the quarter-final clash with Ghana (before another hand played its part later on). Not completely fit for the semi-final against Holland, it was noticeable how much the Uruguay side missed his dominating presence in the attacking third.
In a post-World Cup age that loves a poster boy, one wonders if his form will earn him another big move. Liverpool are rumoured to be interested in bringing him back to England and he may feel he has something to prove back in the Premier League. Certainly he has proved his doubters wrong on the world stage but what the future holds is now up to him.