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La Liga Legends: Diego Forlan, Uruguay’s modern great

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As a way to honor his retirement from football, we remember striker Diego Forlan as one of the biggest La Liga Legends ever.

In what can be considered one of the saddest news of the year, La Liga Legend Diego Forlan just announced his retirement at the age of 40.

The Uruguay international who managed to put his country back on the map after so many decades of obscurity finally decided to call it quits.

The man was already back in his home country resting from his most recent adventure in the Hong Kong Premier League.

Forlan had a very unique upbringing in football from the very beginning, he didn’t start his career in his home country as he was taken from an early age by Argentina’s Independiente.

During his initial years with the South American club, five years were more than enough to start making headlines and lifting eyebrows in European football.

The man never imagined that Sir Alex Ferguson himself would sign him for Manchester United after only five years as a professional.

But Diego’s time in the Premier League wasn’t what he expected, he was nowhere near as prolific as he eventually became when he left England.

There is a very famous incident in which Forlan was playing in the rain and refused to wear soft ground football boots.

Sir Alex Ferguson saw this as a blatant indiscipline act, and Forlan left without getting any further explanations.

Forlan owns La Liga with Villarreal.

His time at Manchester United was more than enough to call attention from other countries, Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini specifically requested him for Villarreal.

The 2004-05 season was the one in which we all realized what an incredible player he was, this is where Diego began to transform into an authentic La Liga Legend.

Diego scored 25 goals in the competition, this was more than enough for him to win his first European Golden Shoe that he shared with Thierry Henry.

A year later, Forlan featured in the Champions League with Juan Roman Riquelme and they were only a penalty shot away from reaching the final that year.

Those three years in Villarreal were more than enough for Atletico Madrid to go after him, they signed him in the summer of 2007.

The Uruguay international built his reputation even more during those years, and he also won a few important titles that gave him even more credibility.

His biggest year in the Spanish La Liga came during a historic year, the one in which FC Barcelona won their first treble ever.

Forlan was fighting to win the Golden Shoe that season against Samuel Eto’o.

The Atletico star beat the Cameroon international by scoring 35 goals for the Colchoneros, this was the second individual award of this nature that Forlan won.

World Cup success as the ‘Cherry on Top’.

After such an impressive career in Spanish football, Forlan arrived at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa as a 31-year-old veteran.

The performance he offered was more than enough to transform him into a legend from his country, one who could only be compared to other great Charruas in history.

Suddenly, Diego Forlan’s name could be linked to players such as Alcides Ghiggia or Enzo Francescoli.

The star won the World Cup combo, both the Golden Ball and the Golden Shoe were his during that summer.

The Copa America and the UEFA Europa League with his club and country came a year after, this confirmed Forlan as one of the most illustrious players from his country if not the best.

Despite not being able to win the Spanish La Liga during his spells in Villarreal and Atletico, we have no doubts that Diego Forlan deserves to be recognized as one of La Liga’s Legends.

In today’s football, perhaps we will make an entry on Luis Suarez’s career in Spain because he also made some impressive achievements in recent years.

However, Forlan was the very best star from his country who is still recognized as one of the biggest players in La Liga during his era.

What’s your greatest memory of Diego Forlan during his time in La Liga? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.