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Remembering When Diego Forlan Mastered The Jabulani At The 2010 World Cup

Ryan Sidle

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Remembering When Diego Forlan Mastered The Jabulani At The 2010 World Cup

Featured Image Credit: PA

Diego Forlan might be best remembered for his time at Manchester United but his performance at the 2010 World Cup is well worth looking back on.

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During his time in the Premier League the Uruguayan became a cult hero at Old Trafford, helped by his long run without a goal when he first joined, his two goals against Liverpool at Anfield and being at fault for players getting booked for taking off their shirts.

The former Villarreal striker was more prolific in Spain, scoring 155 goals in 324 games in all competitions for the Yellow Submarine and Atletico Madrid.

Forlan tackled James Beattie with his shirt off as he couldn't get it back on in time, leading to a rule change. Image: PA Images
Forlan tackled James Beattie with his shirt off as he couldn't get it back on in time, leading to a rule change. Image: PA Images

At the end of his penultimate season with Atleti he played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and helped lead Uruguay to 4th at the competition.

Forlan scored five goals, leading him level with Thomas Muller, David Villa and Wesley Sneijder with most goals, with Muller talking the Golden Boot because of having the most assists.

The former Independiente player won the Golden Ball award for the best player at the tournament and it's easy to see why with some of his goals.

Forlan was just inches away from adding the top scorer award to his best player award, as well as place in the tournament Dream Team, when he hit the crossbar from a free kick late in the third place play-off against Germany.

What made Forlan's achievement at the World Cup even more special was his ability to master the Adidas Jabulani ball better than anyone else.

The ball came in for a lot of criticism during the tournament and no one else seemed able to control it apart from the South American.

Goalkeepers were particularly disgusted by the ball, with Gianluigi Buffon saying, "The new model is absolutely inadequate and I think it's shameful letting play such an important competition, where a lot of champions take part, with a ball like this."

But even forwards weren't too happy with it, with Luis Fabiano describing it as 'supernatural' and Brazil teammate Robinho adding, "For sure the guy who designed this ball never played football. But there is nothing we can do; we have to play with it."

It wasn't a particularly good World Cup and there was a severe lack of goals, especially early on, with the ball being blamed.

There wasn't an issue for Forlan though, who really was one of the few people to master the Jubalani and dominated the 2010 World Cup.

What a player!

Topics: Football News, 2010 World Cup, Manchester United, South American football, International Football, Adidas, Premier League, Diego Forlan, World Cup, Uruguay

Ryan Sidle
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