Diego Forlan was the 2010 FIFA World Cup top scorer, and had played for top clubs in England, Spain and Italy before becoming one of the most prestigious strikers in the history of the J.League.
The Uruguayan superstar joined Cerezo in 2014 and as a result the club’s home stadium in Osaka was immediately packed with many fans hoping to see Forlan’s world-class performance.
There was some skepticism as well, as the former Manchester United striker was already 35. However, with his ability to kick with both feet and his accuracy still intact, he scored every kind of goals — including an amazing free-kick and powerful volley.
Unexpectedly, Cerezo Osaka eventually found themselves fighting to avoid relegation, and Forlan spent more and more time on the bench, due to concerns about his lack of defensive ability. In the end, Cerezo did tumble down to J2, and the Uruguayan himself could not meet high expectations, scoring only seven goals in 26 appearances in his first season.
Despite relegation to the second division, Forlan stayed at Cerezo the following year. He had a good start and from the opening match he constantly scored goals, including a hat-trick against Kyoto Sanga FC on April 29.
After bagging ten goals in 16 appearances, Forlan left the club in the middle of the season, as his contract expired. Although he could not show his best performance in Japan, he scored a number of amazing goals and his professionalism had a significant influence on his teammates.