Diego Forlan has announced retirement from international football after 112 record appearances for Uruguay, spanning just about 13 years.
The ex-Manchester United, Villarreal and Atletico Madrid forward called time on his international career as Uruguay’s second highest scorer with 36 goals, seven shy of Luis Suarez’s record all-time reacord.
Forlan, who won the Golden Ball at the 2010 World Cup after finishing as joint-top scorer in South Africa with five goals, also featured at the 2002 and 2014 finals. He helped Uruguay lift the Copa America in 2011.
“This was an extremely difficult decision,” Forlan told a news conference at his Japanese club Cerezo Osaka. “But I felt it was time. Everything has a beginning and an end – I felt it was time to make way for a new generation of players. It’s time for the national team to go in a new direction.
“It was a great honour to play for the national team and wear the shirt with such great players,” he added. It was my dream since I was a kid to play for Uruguay.
Forlan does not plan quitting professional football at the moment, despite enduring a frustrating season at J-League side Cerezo last year which saw the Osaka club relegated from Japan’s top flight.
“Physically my condition hasn’t dipped in the past few seasons at all,” the 35-year-old said.
“I want to help Cerezo win promotion this season and I’ve put in a lot of hard work in pre-season. My decision to retire from international football is purely down to timing – with the Copa America taking place this year and the World Cup qualifiers, I felt I should step aside.”