Diego Forlan: Ex-Man Utd striker's entire 2010 World Cup was a solo masterclass

Diego Forlan: Ex-Man Utd striker's entire 2010 World Cup was a solo masterclass

The first ever edition of the tournament to take place in Africa, the 2010 World Cup was a historic occasion – which Uruguay striker Diego Forlan turned into his own personal playground.

The tournament, hosted in South Africa, wasn’t without its controversies.

Viewers around the globe complained about the constant racket created by thousands of vuvuzelas around host stadiums. At the same time, players bemoaned the extreme unpredictability of the official ball used in the competition – the Jabulani.

However, while his peers, struggled to get to grips with the spherical-shaped ball, Forlan made it look like he had been playing with it since childhood.

The former Manchester United man had a solution to silence those pesky vuvuzelas, too.

Forlan’s individual masterclass, which would ultimately see him take home the tournament’s Golden Ball prize as top goalscorer, began in the group stages with an absolute rocket of a strike against the hosts.

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Forlan’s incredible strike v South Africa

Bringing an instant hush around a boisterous Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, this delightful 30-yard stunner is still beautiful to watch.

Putting the perfect amount of both dip and swerve on the ball, Forlan had the Jabulani under his spell from the early days of the tournament.

There was to be plenty more where that came from, as well.

A spectacular free-kick v Ghana

As the tournament progressed, Forlan seemingly grew more confident with each passing match.

We still don’t fully understand how he managed to fire this magnificent set-piece home from the left-hand side of the penalty area, but there can be little argument that it’s one of the greatest free-kicks in World Cup history.

Not a bad strike to pull out of your locker in a quarter-final, that’s for sure!

Individual magic in semi-final v the Netherlands

Forlan had already thrilled fans around the world with his exploits in earlier rounds. that said, he wasn’t about to let a major semi-final pass without putting his personal stamp on it.

Another screamer right out of the top drawer, Forlan hammered the ball home from distance in sublime fashion.

Proving just how unplayable he was during the tournament, he even managed the above using his ‘weaker’ left foot!

Diego Forlan World Cup 2010 screamer v Netherlands
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 06: Diego Forlan of Uruguay shoots a long range effort and scores his team’s first goal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Semi Final match between Uruguay and the Netherlands at Green Point Stadium on July 6, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Forlan’s epic form was undoubtedly deserving of a World Cup final appearance. Sadly, it wasn’t to be, as Uruguay were edged out 3-2 by the Dutch on the night.

Before jetting home, though, Forlan’s men participated in a play-off for third place against Germany, where the prolific frontman found the net for a final time.

Fabulous volley v Germany

Seemingly determined to make sure that pretty much every goal he scored in the tournament was a worldie, Forlan signed off with a peach of a volley, smashing the ball into the ground and beyond a helpless Hans-Jörg Butt – who could only stand and admire the ridiculous technique on show.

Forlan’s final goal of the competition was also voted as the competition’s best – although we’ve got more than a little sympathy for Giovanni van Bronckhorst there.

The volley wasn’t enough to secure Uruguay a bronze medal finish, as the South Americans were pipped 3-2 for a second match in succession.

Happily, however, Forlan did do enough to secure the tournament’s top scorer prize. Tied on five goals apiece with several other players, his assist for Luis Suarez in Uruguay’s Round of 16 clash with South Korea means that he took home the Golden Boot award.

Spain may have emerged with the trophy, Forlan’s individual brilliance in South Africa should never be forgotten.

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