Diego Forlan left Cape Town devastated last night but at least able to look back on the best year of his career. Not even a good luck text from Sir Alex Ferguson could help Forlan inspire Uruguay to victory against the Netherlands, with the Dutch going on to register a 3-2 win.
The Atletico Madrid star did manage to score his fourth goal of the tournament to cancel out Giovanni van Bronckhorst's opener, but goals from Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben, left Forlan to pick the positives out of a season where he won the UEFA Europa League, before reaching the last four of the FIFA World Cup™, eclipsing the achievements of South American rivals Brazil and Argentina.
It has been the best year of my career. But we are still so disappointed because we were so close to a World Cup final and we have missed a great chance.
"It has been the best year of my career," said the 31-year-old. "Winning the Europa League with Atletico Madrid, reaching that final and then reaching another semi-final of the World Cup is just great. But we are still so disappointed because we were so close to a World Cup final and we have missed a great chance."
Forlan did not complete last night's game after succumbing to a thigh problem he had before the match started. Without suspended strike partner Luis Suarez, coach Oscar Tabarez had no choice but to pile the responsibility onto his captain and Forlan ended up paying the price, making him a major doubt for Saturday's third-place play-off in Port Elizabeth.
"I had some tiredness in my thigh when I started the game and it was difficult," he said. "I was limping and I was trying to stay in the game but in the end I could not help anybody. I hope to be fit for Saturday, I want to play for that third place because even that would be great for everyone. Then I hope to have a big holiday because I am really tired."