Uruguay striker Diego Forlan's talents are recognized throughout South America and in almost every European country -- with one exception.
In England, Forlan has always been associated with an unremarkable spell at Manchester United, at one stage being labeled Diego Forlorn after he went eight months without scoring.
Since leaving in 2004 to play for Villarreal and then Atletico Madrid, Forlan has found a new lease of life, averaging a goal nearly every two games but his achievements have gone unnoticed in England, where few believe in life outside the Premiership.
Forlan, however, has now had the last laugh, playing a key role, scoring twice in the two-leg semi-final win over Liverpool and twice more to give his team a 2-1 win over Fulham in Wednesday's final.
The 30-year-old, who last year won the Golden Shoe award for Europe's leading scorer, admitted that it had been a frustrating time at United, although there was no sense of revenge.
"When I left United I was playing in a good team, some of the best, with great players, but it was hard to get in the team," said Forlan, who has 23 goals in 61 appearances for Uruguay and is set to lead their attack at the World Cup in South Africa.
"I told Alex Ferguson that I wanted to leave and play regular football and that's why I'm here."
Helping Atletico win their first major title in 14 years was more rewarding that winning an individual prize, he added.
"I'm happy if my goals win games and in this case to win the title. I'm really happy and enjoying it."
"I'm very happy at my goals helping the team. Last year was great, with the golden shoe, so is this year, very fulfilling.
"It's good to have an individual title but if you earn it with the team, it's so much nicer."
GetRTR 3.00 -- MAY 13, 2010 06:01:39