Uruguayan Soccer Legend Diego Forlán Announces Retirement

Diego Forlan of Uruguay in 2014. Photo by Ben Queenborough/BPI/Shutterstock (3873465ag)

One of the brightest stars of the past two decades in world soccer has decided to hang up his boots after a long and successful career in both South America and Europe.

Diego Forlán, the Uruguayan striker who spent years dominating defenses for club teams and for his country’s national team, announced his retirement from soccer at the age of 40.

Forlán hadn’t played since appearing in a handful of games for Kitchee SC in Hong Kong last season.

The striker played for youth academies in his native Uruguay before making the move to Independiente in Argentina back in the mid-90s.

After starring there, he signed for 11 million Euros for Manchester United in 2002, making the jump to Europe.

Forlán spent two and a half up-and-down seasons in England before moving to Spain, where he’d have his biggest club success. He scored 128 goals in 240 career La Liga games for Villarreal and Atlético Madrid, including a memorable 116th-minute strike to win the 2010 Europa League Final against Fulham.

The striker then spent a short time with Inter Milan before moving back to South America in 2012 and then bouncing around different clubs around the region and in Asia.

Forlán also excelled with his country’s national team, scoring 36 goals in 112 career caps. He won the Golden Boot Award as the top scorer at the 2010 World Cup.

He plans to move into a managerial role after his retirement from playing.