With LaLiga being temporary suspended, here at Villarreal CF, we've decided to periodically relive moments, teams and people which have stood out in the club's history. This Tuesday, it’s time to look back at Diego Forlán, a true Yellows legend.
Diego Forlán Corazzo (Montevideo, 19th May 1979) is one of the legendary players in Villarreal CF’s history. An intelligent striker with a dangerous shot, he emerged as one of the leading players in European football.
Signing from Manchester United, the Uruguayan forward arrived in the summer of 2004. In his first season, he surprised everyone, becoming an unstoppable goalscorer. His 25 strikes in the domestic season made him the top scorer across the continent, being named Golden Ball winner for the 2004/05 campaign.
In his spell in yellow, he formed an unforgettable connection with another star of that Villarreal side, Juan Román Riquelme. A lot of the goals that Forlan scored for the Submarine were assisted the Argentine midfielder, who was the top provider of assists in LaLiga in the 2004/05 campaign, with a total of ten.
With 59 goals in his three seasons as a Yellow, Forlán is the second highest goalscorer in the top flight for Villarreal, only behind Giuseppe Rossi (82). Furthermore, the Uruguayan striker is the only footballer in the club’s history to have scored three hat-tricks in LaLiga. What’s more, the first came at a big stage, at the Camp Nou (3-3) in the 2004/05 season. The second was in the 2006/07 campaign, when the Submarine beat Osasuna 1-4, with a goalscoring exhibition from the South American.
In the 2005/06 season, where the Submarine nearly reached the UEFA Champsion League final, Forlán scored two important goals. One that sticks in the memory is the goal at the Giuseppe Meazza after just 45 seconds in the quarter-finals against Inter Milan.
Three years after his arrival, in the summer of 2007, Villarreal CF sold him to Atlético Madrid, which was at the time the biggest transfer fee received for a player in the club’s history. In the Spanish capital, he once more won the Golden Boot in 2008/09 season, and after an impressive World Cup with Uruguay in South Africa in 2010, he won the prize of best player at the intercontinental tournament.