Man Utd icon Diego Forlan drops just three games as he thrashes two stars on tennis debut

Manchester United icon Diego Forlan has been making an impression on the tennis court (Image: GETTY)

Manchester United icon Diego Forlan ditched the football pitch in favour of the tennis court this week and was in mesmerising form as he dropped just three games in two matches on his ITF MT1000 debut in Peru. The 45-year-old competed in the 45+ category and progressed to the quarter-finals before losing to Brazilian Antonio Amaro da Silva Filho.

Forlan, who ended his football career for the first time in 2019 after a spell with Kitchee in Hong Kong, has been on the tennis circuit since last summer.

The Uruguayan reached the last eight of an MT400 event in the 35+ category last July, before making it to back-to-back semi-finals of MT400 events in the 40+ section in December and February.

Forlan returned to tennis action at the start of this week when he dispatched Chilean ace Gonzalo Carreno 6-0, 6-2 in the first round of the Lima tournament. He then thrashed Peruvian rival Jorge Hernandez 6-0, 6-1 in round two.

The former striker was made to work for a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Chilean star Pablo Rojas-Holch in the third round before eventually being dumped out of the tournament after losing 3-6, 2-6 to his Brazilian opponent.

Forlan is currently ranked at No. 438 in the world in the ITF singles 45+ category. And he will be hoping to build on his impressive displays in the future after footage of his endeavours was released by the Tennis Channel.

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Forlan spent two-and-a-half years at the Red Devils after joining the club from Argentinian side Independiente as a 22-year-old in January 2002.

The player endured a barren run in front of goal after initially moving to England as he failed to find the back of the net in his first 23 Premier League appearances.

He was eventually sold to Villarreal in August 2004 after netting just 17 goals in 98 appearances for the north west giants.

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Manchester United icon Diego Forlan only scored 17 goals for the Red Devils (Image: GETTY)

Forlan rediscovered his scoring touch in Spain as he bagged 59 goals in 127 games for the club, before sealing a big-money move to Atletico Madrid in 2007.

And he went on to rack up 96 goals in 198 matches during a four-year spell at the Metropolitano Stadium, becoming a Europa League winner in 2010.

“I went to see Sir Alex. He was good with me,” Forlan explained as he discussed his United departure with The Athletic in 2021. “He said I’d been a great professional and that he had hoped to play me more. He told me that he wanted to keep me, but that if I wanted to go, I could.

“He understood my reasons and told me many times since that he wished I’d stayed. But at the time, I needed to play more football. It was my decision to leave.”