It may be time to call it a career. Diego Forlan will be a free agent after his J-League second-division team Cerezo Osaka has decided not to extend his contract, the club president announced.
Reportedly worth around $5.8 million, Forlan’s contract expires at the end of July. Relegated last year in his first season with Cerezo, the club is unsurprisingly no longer willing to pay him further big bucks while stuck in the J2-League. Forlan himself has dominated the Japanese second division, but the club has not capitalized in an attempt for a quick turnaround.
Last season, the 36-year-old struggled overseas, managing just nine goals in 33 appearances across all competitions while the team finished next-to-last in the table, and he did not appear in seven of the team’s final nine matches during the relegation battle.
Forlan had started in all 16 matches this season for Cerezo in the second division, scoring 10 goals to lead the league, but the team still sits in ninth place in the 22-team table, seven points off a guaranteed promotion position. The Uruguayan missed his first match of the season for the club this morning, not appearing on the team sheet for a 1-0 win over Ehime.
Since winning the Golden Ball in the 2010 World Cup at 32 years old, Forlan has been somewhat of a nomad. He left Atletico Madrid in 2011, spending a season at Inter Milan before shipping off to Brazil’s Internacional for two years. He made just 34 appearances in two seasons in the Brazilian Serie A before finding a big pay-day in Japan.