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Posted by Jon Carter on 07/11/2010

Forlan nets his fifth goal in South Africa. © Getty Images

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.

Comments

Posted by Sachall on 07/11/2010

Hats off to this guy

Posted by YEMI on 07/11/2010

Forlan's success at the world cup is victory for patience, humility and ultimately for football... i wish him many more...

Posted by musteey on 07/11/2010

Forlan is an incredible player. I love him,indeed he deserved to be crown the best player of the tournament

Posted by Marlon on 07/11/2010

He really deserves all he gets, ask your self after this world cup if you had a free-kick in a probable goal scoring position whom would you want to kick it ? And for him and Suarez to carry the team from a playoff to arrive at the big show all the way to fourth wow just wow

Posted by the RIGHT guy on 07/12/2010

simply the BEST FOOTBALLER in this world cup, great showing from his humble way, LET THE FEET DO THE TALKING, unlike those that pay more than $100,000 pounds per week, know how to whine but not how to play, especially the ENGLISH. he had shown the world, what a footballer he is and should be without being pay millions.

Posted by John on 07/12/2010

He and suarez have done their country proud. Wish them well. Bring them to Liverpool !

Posted by da slims on 07/12/2010

Forlan really deserves this award....he single-handedly lead Uruguay to the Semis...More than any of the other greats in the tournament has accomplished.

hats of to Forlan.

Salut

Posted by Rich on 07/12/2010

Manchester United should sign Forlan now for a second time, he will be very sucessful

Posted by Wakefield on 07/12/2010

Since his move away from Manchester he has proved he is a world class striker up there with the likes of Torres, Villa, Rooney and the lot. His showing in the World Cup and in the Europa league especially. Before that scoring vital goals against Fulham and Liverpool proves he is mature enough and strong enough to play the roughness of the premier league. Would love to see him to Liverpool. Thank you Forlan for your so many memorable goals this tournament! You mastered the Jubilani like no one else could.

Posted by ken proffitt on 07/12/2010

A great performance in the World Cup tournament shows how far this player has improved since his days at Old Trafford. I was happy to see that although his team didn't make the final , his team was one of the best in the tournament, albeit because of his great leadership . Good luck to you in the future.

Posted by St. Devil on 07/12/2010

I wish him well. Though it's a lost for ManUtd to let him go for his 1st team crawing in Spain (Villareal & A.Madrid), he's top gun now!

Posted by sonia lemos on 07/12/2010

iam australian citizen born in uruguay.ithink forlan is one of the best player i been seen in a long time.

Posted by Anthony Kanuhi on 07/12/2010

If I will remember one player from this World Cup, then it will be Diego Forlan. He impressed me and although at times he didn't get the ball well enough, he made use of the few opportunities that he had. I only wish he could return to OT. HATS OFF TO FORLAN.

Posted by Manuel on 07/12/2010

I'm glad that forlan distinguished himself from the rest of the underperforming show-offs in the WC. He is one hard-working player dispite his age and despite the fact that his club season with Atletico was an overwhelming one. F... you Rooney

Posted by Shanta on 07/12/2010

No Player tamed the Jabulani like Diego did... Every shot he attempted goalward was a threat... Great inspiration to his team, holding the ball and moving in thru to attack..He truely deserved the honour.... I had that feel the moment he hit his last shot on the bar... Glad he got it....

Posted by Papa Roti on 07/12/2010

He is one of the best in the world......salute to you, Forlan!!!

Posted by Dancun oguttuh-kenya on 07/12/2010

Diego is a great player,with his unique personality-humility,patience and courage,he is able do wonders on the pitch. Wherever you are Forlan,God bless you for the scintilating show.

Posted by Sam on 07/12/2010

Forland deserves the golden ball

Posted by Engr.Andrew on 07/12/2010

Honestly Forlan is a fantastic player and deserve the honour.I wish him all the best in his career.

Posted by Pman on 07/12/2010

Forlan you are a gun!!! Love your work keep it up.

Posted by tyler on 07/12/2010

It would be a great opportunity, if Diego Forlan arrive to ANFIELD (LIVERPOOL). Even the fans at Liverpool will like his fantastic display in Anfield.

Posted by William on 07/12/2010

Yes he deserved it. I agree tht he is indeed a good player with a great shooting ability. He can shoot directly from long-range to score goals and none other can be compared to his long effort on target. I wish him all the best in the future and a move to a bigger club may even rise him to a world class player.

Posted by Masvingo Chivasa on 07/12/2010

This guy is out of this world, at least the Man United boss can see how he fails to keep players with great potential and vision!

Posted by Mofya on 07/12/2010

Diego Forlan, should come to liverpool. This is the player who ended our hopes for Europa Cup and Did the same to Fulham. Am sure our new coach knows him well. Liverpool go for him

Posted by Waruingi on 07/12/2010

Diego Forlan also proved to be the best free kicker in the world!

Posted by SEGRUFF on 07/12/2010

FANTASTIC PLAYER. HUMBLE AND KEPT HIS HEAD. PLEASE DONT GO BACK TO ENGLAND. BUNDESLIGA WOULD B OK 4 U

Posted by Just someone on 07/12/2010

He has already proven to PL how good he is. He is not coming back no more...

Posted by Murad on 07/12/2010

We love Forlan.....

Posted by Richard from trinidad on 07/12/2010

I picked Forlan to be top scorer at this world cup. Thanks to him I have won a bottle of johnny walker blue. As a manchester united fan I was sad to see him leave. I hope he comes back to united to re-establish our domination of the premiership. Mil gracias mi amigo!

Posted by david da silva on 07/12/2010

kudos to Forlan. he should now go to England to prove that he is really not 'Forlorn'.

Posted by Claudia on 07/12/2010

Diego Forlan is an outstanding player and I wish him all the very best, he was phenomenal in South Africa and although he left our hearts broken crushing Bafana Bafana, it was an absolute pleasure watching him in action! He deserves the Golden Ball, boot, golden anything for a truly Golden Buy :)

Posted by Anonymous on 07/12/2010

Forlan...you are simply amazing!!!

Posted by raven on 07/12/2010

im an Manchester United Fan....I will salute to him if i see him...he is amazing...n the way he played was just wow....the gosls he shot from far is just awesome as some of them complaint about the jabulani ball but he used the ball to his advantage...hats off to DIEGO FORLAN!!!!....He deserves it!!

Posted by J. on 07/12/2010

He's an excellent player........ He deserves this Award. U have to look at the strenght of the team..and the "hlp" Forlan has , Yet look what has been achieved by theplayer. His team is no Argentina, Spain, Holland or Brazil........ he dosent have that much support.look at the Uruguay 23 man Squad..how much players do u recognise as world class??? Well done Uruguay....Well done Forlan.........

Posted by Anonymous on 07/12/2010

wrong decision fergie............

Posted by mat on 07/12/2010

yeah FORLAN!! last free kick in third place play off against germany was a one in a thousand free kick, very furious but ultimately hit the bar.. he could win golden boot if it had gone in.. he deserves fifa golden ball award..

Posted by George Mweberi on 07/12/2010

Congratulations..............

Posted by cho on 07/14/2010

dear forlan,u deserved to play in malaysian league.there have a lot of greatest player likes u

Posted by cchern USA on 07/14/2010

Thank you so much Forlan for such an incredible games, you made this World Cup so AWESOME and enjoyable. I completely fell in love with your team, you and your incredible plays.

Posted by Nii Welbeck on 07/14/2010

Yes! Forlan deserves the best player awards.His free-kicks,crossings and shooting at goals are all excellent.What I want for him is to make a move to a big club in Europe, precisely, M United to expand his career. Well done Forlan!

Posted by Lucian on 07/16/2010

No other player except Maradona, Ronaldo or Zidane rose to the fame of being the best out of the best in the way he did it. More even than his talent he impressed me and all my friends through his modesty and altruism and his desire to stay in the shadow and not show off like others. A wonderfull human being.
Wonderfull character built on passion and respect for the game and love for his country, he made everybody watching him want to become a better person, with just a touch of his hart and his magic feet.
We, here in Canada celebrated him for the player he is, but we believe he should be awarded also a symbolic award to recognize him as the best soccer world ambassador for the next four years.
His skills and abilities are somehow unique, since he was the only one that stood out of the celebrities crowd when it comes about handling the "most critcized ball" ever, and this was so evident and so quicly noticed from the moment he first touched that ball. Conclusion ?
He is the BEST.

Posted by Gooi Chun Aun on 07/23/2010

Liverpool! Ur destination. Rival of MU. Give fergie a kick!

Posted by daniel on 07/23/2010

forlan was one of the beast pleyer from this world cup it is a good destion

Posted by some guy on 07/26/2010

if someone ask me to list all the best players in this WC, forlan would be on my list...i salute all of his goals, especially the long range ones...you deserved the golden ball my man...i wish you could gain more...plus, you are one of the reason i'm satisified with this WC...

Posted by Chris on 07/26/2010

Felicidades to Forlan the Fantastic! Diego was one of the bright lights of this World Cup--a maestro with the ball. His shooting, his passing and possession were a joy to behold...he almost single-handedly brought Uruguay to the finals. What a player!

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