(Reuters) – Factbox on Uruguay striker Diego Forlan, who won the best player of the World Cup award on Sunday:
Born: May 19, 1979 in Montevideo (Uruguay)
EARLY DAYS AND PERSONAL LIFE
* Ditched a budding tennis career for football as a teenager, and made his mark with Argentina’s Independiente before sealing a 7.5 million-pound move to Manchester United in January 2002.
* Came in as a long-term replacement for Andy Cole but took eight months to score his first goal, when he netted in a 5-2 Champions League victory over Maccabi Haifa.
* Was restricted mainly to substitute appearances as Manchester United won the Premier League in 2003 and FA Cup in 2004.
* A good swimmer and water skier, Forlan took up English and computing lessons and began political science studies at university while in Buenos Aires.
* Secured a transfer to Villarreal in August 2004 on a four-year contract.
* In his first La Liga season, top scored with 25 goals to help Villarreal finish third for their first Champions League campaign. Was joint top European scorer with Thierry Henry to win the Golden Shoe award.
* Scored 29 league goals over next two seasons and in 2007 joined Atletico Madrid for up to 23 million euros as a replacement for Fernando Torres, who moved to Liverpool.
* Won his second European Golden Shoe award in the 2008/09 season with 32 league goals, scoring 12 in the last eight games of the season to overhaul Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o.
* Scored 18 league goals for Atletico Madrid last season and was on sparkling form in the Europa League to help Atletico to their first European title in 48 years.
* Scored both Atletico’s goals in the 2-1 defeat of Premier League side Fulham in the final in Hamburg.
WORLD CUP 2010
* Scored five goals to help unfancied Uruguay reach the semi-finals for the first time in 40 years, the only South American team in the last four.
* Wins 23.4 percent of the vote in the “Golden Ball” poll organized by world soccer body FIFA and voted for by journalists.
(Compiled by Iain Rogers, editing by Patrick Johnston)