There aren’t many international players that have achieved universal ridicule. Sure there may be a depreciating comment here and a jibe there and some, but not all, can be well justified; but it takes a mortifying series of prolonged disappointments and exasperating performances for any player to attain critiques in which ‘bad’ becomes ostensibly ‘good’.
Yet, there, in these higher echelons of frustration and woe, lies, for many people at least, Tottenham’s new transfer target, Diego Forlan.
Though evidently rejuvenated, and still celebrated as a cult hero at the club at which he wrote his comedy of errors, the Uruguayan is best remembered as a flamboyantly haired and utterly disastrous hit-man. It took the striker eight months to eventually find the net for the first time – scoring a penalty in a Champions League tie against Maccabi Haifa – for Manchester United following his £7m move from Independiente.
Despite scoring only 17 goals in 95 appearances – many of them from the bench, Diego gained cult status following a pair of strikes against Liverpool in 2002. The brace cemented the striker’s legendary status amongst the Old Trafford faithful but the strikers stay in Manchester didn’t last long. After only 2 years at the club, Forlan departed for Spanish side Villareal.
Since then, fortunes have changed dramatically for the 31-year-old. The Uruguayan shared the Golden Boot with Thierry Henry in 2005 during his time at Villareal and repeated the feat again with Athletico Madrid in 2009 by scoring 25 and 32 goals respectively. An astonishing turnaround.
It’s unlikely he’ll ever shake the infamy afforded to him by his performances in Manchester though, which is why it seems strange that the striker has attracted the interest of Harry Redknapp, who is reportedly considering a bid of around £20m for the Athletico Madrid front-man.
This is only speculation, of course, but Forlan’s return to the Premiership in a Tottenham shirt will obviously be received by more than a few quizzical looks – even a guffaw or two, coming not just from around White Hart Lane.
His agent has, unsurprisingly, signaled the player’s intent to focus on the World Cup, but has also hinted that Premier League clubs have been in touch over his possible return:
“Each of the seasons many clubs show interest in him. This is not the first time that a Premier League club have wanted to try to buy him back.”
Spurs fans can come out from behind the sofa now. It is only speculation after all.
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