OSAKA, Japan (AP) — Uruguay forward Diego Forlan is retiring from international football, saying it’s time for the next generation of players to make their mark for the national team.
The 35-year-old Forlan made the announcement in Osaka, where he is under contract with J-League side Cerezo Osaka. He is expected to retire when his current contract expires after this season.
“Of course, this was a very tough decision but it’s time to make way for a new generation (of players),” said Forlan, who played in three World Cups.
Forlan was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player of the 2010 World Cup and was joint top-scorer with five goals, bringing his international total to 36 since his World Cup debut in 2002.
Despite a reported $5.8 million contract, a record for the J-League, Forlan has struggled with the Osaka team, scoring just seven goals in 26 games.
His career has included stints at Manchester United, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid.