Diego Forlan – Footballer, Gentleman And Real Hero

We were pleased to see that the outstanding player at this year’s World Cup in South Africa was Uruguayan star Diego Forlan, who was voted the Golden Ball – for the best player at the tournament.

Diego Forlan – a gentleman and real hero in our eyes

Diego wasn’t given much of a chance at Manchester United when he was there from 2002 until 2004, and appeared 98 times with 17 goals for the Red Devils.

Since he’s been in Spain at Villareal from 2004 until 2007, he made 125 appearances with 59 goals and at his current club Atletico Madrid – 153 appearances with 86 goals since 2007,  the player has just exploded into top goal-scoring form and has won the Golden Boot in the Spanish League two of the last three seosons for being top goal-scorer.

Diego has a total of 467 senior games under his belt with 202 goals and his performances for Uruguay in the World Cup tournament, when he notched 5 goals, were phenomenal, and he was joint top goal-scorer too.

His spirit and drive were just first class for his country, and it was probably fitting that his last kick of the tournament was a free kick against Germany that beat the German wall and the German goalkeeper – but hit the cross bar – and Germany scraped through for 3rd place with a close 3-2 win.

If anybody deserves accolades at this World Cup it’s this 31 year-old, and we just have to hope that some top English club can get him playing in the Premier League next season.

In 1991, his sister Alejandra, who is five years older than Diego, was left paralyzed, following a terrible car accident that killed her boyfriend.

After that devastating accident, Forlan – then 12 years old – decided where his life was going, and pledged to earn enough money from his football career that he could take care of her health bills and get her the best doctors – for the rest of her life.

He is a founding member of the Fundación Alejandra Forlán, set up with his paralyzed sister, and he has become an outspoken critic of dangerous driving.

To be successful to help his injured sister, is one reason why he has practiced his free kicks, and other skills throughout his career – well after the other players have left the training field, and it’s not a coincidence that he’s so good at those free-kicks.

After the accident Forlan’s sister Alejandra. was quoted as saying:

“The first thing he told me when I was lying in the hospital was that he would be a famous football player and make money to get me the best doctors in the world.”

That’s the measure of this footballer and hero, and he is a credit to himself, his family, and of course his country, Uruguay.

To us, Diego Forlan is one of the real heroes in the game of football.

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