Thursday, June 16, 2016

Diego Forlán leaves Peñarol after realising dream

Following his long-dreamed-of triumph in Uruguay's Primera División final against Plaza Colonia, Diego Forlán has announced to leave Peñarol. 

Says goodbye with a trophy: Diego Forlán. (Photo:
His dream came true at the very end. Diego Forlán, most prolific figure of his country for many years, won the Uruguayan championship in his final game for Peñarol. A 3-1 win over Plaza Colonia in added time at the Estadio Centenario was all Cachavacha and his family had wished for.

Arriving back home a year ago from Cerezo Osaka in the second Japanese league, there were doubts regarding Forlán's potential to be one of the leading players for Peñarol. He brushed them aside early on by scoring two goals against Montevideo Wanderers in his first friendly appearance. There was never any doubt about his influence on Uruguayan football and the league off the pitch. As a figurehead, he excited not only fans of his new club, but across South America.

Forlán's league performances were mixed throughout the year and turned better continuously towards the end of the Apertura. His vision set him apart from large parts of his opponents in Uruguay. The 37-year old produced magnificent assists in the process and shone one last time back home. Four goals and eight assists during the first part of the year, another four plus four in the Clausura.

Peñarol's general level of play experienced a large drop of quality in that second half of the football year. Despite their early and disappointing Copa Libertadores exit, Forlán and his colleagues could not pick it back up in the league anymore. A continued stumble behind Plaza Colonia led to second place and a final against the aforementioned promoted team from Eduardo Espinel.

Peñarol ended up profiting from a late red card against their opponents in extra-time. Diego Forlán himself stepped up and assisted the winning goal shortly after. Clearly an appropriate way to go out for Uruguay's legend and the club he wished to play for since his childhood days. His father Pablo (70) defended the same colours from 1963 to 1970.

The most important aspects of his time in yellow and black will not be goals or assists. It will be the countless times he produced smiles on people's faces, from his dad to the countless fans of the club. For a year, Uruguay's league felt very special and rightfully so in the light of the World Cup 2010 Golden Ball winner. The long-lost son leaves with many memories. Where will we see him next?


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