Diego Forlan is nothing more than a cult hero at Manchester United.
There’s no shame in that, but the Uruguayan should have been a bona fide club legend. Forlan will always be remembered fondly by the red side of Manchester for his goals against rivals Liverpool, but his goalscoring record at Old Trafford was the worst in an otherwise prolific career.
In 63 Premier League appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson, Forlan only managed 17 goals. United signed Forlan from Argentine club Independiente, after he chimed in with 37 goals in 80 league games, but he never kicked on as many hoped he would.
Ferguson eventually gave up hope on Forlan in 2004, selling him to La Liga side Villarreal. It was in Spain when Forlan began to look like a world beater, scoring 54 goals in 106 league appearances for Villarreal, earning him a move to Atletico Madrid in 2007.
Forlan would hit his peak in the Spanish capital, claiming a remarkable 74 goals in 134 La Liga games. Forlan finished the 2008-09 season as top goalscorer, bagging a staggering 32 times.
His international form went from strength to strength too. Forlan finished the 2010 World Cup as joint-top goalscorer (five) with Spain’s David Villa. He retired from Uruguay duty in 2014, after 112 caps and 36 goals.
Diego Forlan: a Man United cult icon who could have been so much more.