Diego Forlan reveals why he decided to leave Manchester United

Diego Forlan has admitted that a desire for more playing time led to his decision to join Villarreal from Manchester United back in 2004.

The Uruguayan joined United from Argentinian side Independiente for a fee of £6.9 million in 2002, and scored 10 Premier League goals during his time at the club.

His most memorable moment came when he scored a three-minute brace against Liverpool in a 2-1 victory at Anfield in his second season at Old Trafford. That performance secured Forlan’s permanent place in United folklore.

After three seasons with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, the forward was then transferred to Villarreal for a reported fee of £2 million.

Speaking at a La Liga Through The Decades event, Forlan expanded on his reasons for opting for a move to Spain.

He explained: “I was at Manchester United, which is one of the best clubs in the world. But I wanted to play more.

“I wanted to have more minutes, and then came the offer from Villarreal which was good.

“While I was in England I was always watching the Spanish league and you could see how Villarreal was growing, season by season.

“There was good players, there was [Juan Roman] Riquelme, Pepe Reina was with us, Jose Mari, [Manuel] Pellegrini was going to come as a coach that season.

“So there were many things that came along so I was really confident when I decided to go there.”

Life in Spain

At Villarreal, Forlan would go on to establish himself as one of the world’s leading marksmen.

His form at The Yellow Submarine peaked the interest of Atletico Madrid, who signed him in the summer of 2007 following the departure of Fernando Torres to Liverpool.

Forlan’s 32 league strikes in the 2008/09 season saw him awarded with the La Liga Golden Boot, and he went on to score the winning goal in the 2010 Europa League final against Fulham.

The Uruguayan striker added a further eight league goals in his final campaign with Atletico, before joining Inter Milan in the summer of 2011.

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Featured image credit: Getty