Forlan joins Cerezo amid sizeable hype
© AFP

Diego Forlan has joined Cerezo Osaka from Internacional for an estimated $5.8m - a record wage for the J.League. The 34-year-old has agreed to play for Japanese team in the upcoming March-December season.

Forlan played 55 times and scored 22 goals for the Brazilian side he joined in July 2012. He has previously played for big European clubs including Manchester United, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid.

The Uruguay forward won the adidas Golden Ball at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, finishing as the tournament's joint-top scorer in the process.

The J.League has been without foreign players who also play for their countries. I hope he will pump up the league with great performances.
Shunsuke Nakamura on Diego Forlan

Cerezo Osaka, where Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa cut his teeth, will pay Forlan an estimated annual wage of $5.8m according to media reports.

That will break the previous J.League record, paid to former England striker Gary Lineker when he joined Nagoya Grampus in 1993, the competition's inaugural year.

Forlan will be the first big name in a long while to play in the J.League and his arrival is likely to liven up a national game that has seen many of its top talents decamp to Europe.

"Forlan can shoot at distance," former Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura told the Tokyo Sports daily. "He is also deft in front of goal.

"The J.League has been without foreign players who also play for their countries. I hope he will pump up the league with great performances."

Japan and Southampton defender Maya Yoshida said it was "amazing" that a player of Forlan's calibre would change club only months before Brazil 2014.

Writing on his blog, he noted changes like that usually come after the tournament, adding: "This means he's dead serious."