Diego Forlan leaves Atletico for Inter
Diego Forlan is to leave La Liga club Atletico Madrid after four seasons and will join Serie A side Inter Milan, the Uruguay striker announced on Monday.
A La Liga topscorer with both Villarreal and Atletico, the former Manchester United forward was voted best player at the World Cup finals in South Africa last year as Uruguay reached the last four.
"Farewells are always hard, because it has been four years plus the three at Villarreal and now... I will be leaving behind people's kindness, which I will never forget," Forlan said at a news conference in the Spanish capital.
"I am looking forward very much to rejuvenating myself, it's all new and it's where you find motivation because the challenges are greater.
"You don't often get a chance to go to Inter at the age of 32 and I hope I can live up to the expectations."
The Copa America winner's arrival at Inter is good news for coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who has lost forwards Samuel Eto'o and Goran Pandev to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and Napoli respectively.
The Italian club, who lost their domestic crown to local rivals AC Milan last season, said in a statement on their website later on Monday that Forlan had arrived in the city and would complete his move on Tuesday.
"I am here to continue winning with Inter," the club quoted him as telling journalists at Linate airport. "My goal is to play and score as much as possible for my new team."
Forlan helped Atletico to a Europa League triumph in the 2009-10 season, when they also reached the final of Spain's King's Cup. His club form dipped last season and Atletico announced last week they had given him permission to negotiate a transfer. However, he was as sharp as ever at international level as he helped Uruguay win the Copa America this year, scoring twice in their 3-0 final win over Paraguay.
"I am very happy to be here and to be able to play for a fantastic team like Inter," Forlan said. "It's a great opportunity for my career."
The Gazzetta Dello Sport in Italy covered his press conference in depth:
Forlan: "Thank you Moratti -- Joining Inter is a great challenge"
The Uruguayan striker held a press conference at the Calderòn stadium: “I’ll always be an Atletico Madrid fan”. He is expected to land in Milan this evening: agreement reached with Atletico Madrid on the salary arrears
Today was virtually his first day as an Inter player, although his signing will officially be announced by Inter tonight, or tomorrow at the latest. Meanwhile, Diego Forlan bid farewell to Atletico Madrid with a press conference held at the Calderon stadium. “I will always be an Atletico Madrid fan, but the new adventure with Inter is an enticing challenge”.
Yesterday evening Diego Forlan reached an agreement with Atletico Madrid over the conditions he wanted. The Spanish club will pay Forlan some of his salary arrears and this greenlights his signing for Inter, which will spend 5 million euros to sign the player with a 2-year contract, paying him 3.5 million Euros, net, a year, plus 500,000 euro bonuses.
A GREAT AMBASSADOR
Diego Forlan bids farewell to Atletico Madrid. The player arrived at the Vicente Calderòn stadium at 1.20 pm for his farewell conference. At 2.50 pm he met the reporters, at the presence of Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo, who gave a valedictory speech: “Diego Forlan has been a great ambassador of our club off the field. A fine example of fair play and a man who did a lot of charity. Not only is he a great man, he is also an excellent player”.
Diego Forlan took the floor at 3 pm. He was clearly moved when a footage with all his goals was shown, just before he started talking to the reporters. First of all, he bid farewell to Atletico’s fans. “Thank you all. It’s hard to say goodbye after 4 years. Plus another 3 with Villareal. I’m sorry I’m leaving Spain. I can feel the people close to me, I’ll never forget this. I’ll have many fond memories and I wish to thank you all, once again. I had a terrific experience with Atletico Madrid, we won plenty of silverware. And it was also good to meet so many great people in the club, including my team mates. I’m leaving as an Atletico Madrid fan: you will always be in heart”.
FORLAN, AN INTER PLAYER
After the farewell, Forlan spoke as an Inter player. “I have already spoken to Cambiasso and Milito, who by the way are great friends of mine, and I consider this project yet another great challenge for me. I’m leaving a big club, but I’m joining another big club. I only know about Serie A through the matches I’ve seen on TV, but I’m glad I’ll be playing there, after the Spanish liga and the Premier League. I’m joining a big club. I like their project and I’m flattered they wanted me”.
"THANK YOU MORETTI"
“Few people criticised me, even when things weren’t going so well. The four years with Atletico have been fantastic, with just a couple of negative moments”. When asked if he would have stayed, he replied: “It’s not easy to answer. I don’t know. A big club like Inter showed up and moving to another club after 4 years is something good. I wanted to change club. I’m happy with what I’ve done for Atletico and I look forward to the future”. He signed a 2-year contract with Inter, with an option for a third year. “I’m eager to get a new start, changing club helps a player renew himself. I’ll be in a different league, in a new club, with new team mates, in another country. I’m feeling good. A 32 year-old player doesn’t always get the chance of joining a big club, that’s why I’d like to thank Inter president Massimo Moratti for the opportunity he has given me”.
“I’d like to be remembered as someone who scored a lot of goals, someone who made the people happy, someone who helped the club win something. I hope the people will have fond memories of me, just like I will have fond memories of them. These days children are ringing my doorbell to say goodbye. That’s the best thing that could happen to a player”. The press conference ended at 3.15 pm. Forlan is expected to land in Milan tonight.
sorry for the overlap in the two articles i posted, but i really wanted to share as much of his words as possible, while still covering the general terms of his departure.