2010 World Cup: Diego Forlan Has Earned Golden Ball

Debora RubiContributor IJuly 10, 2010

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 10:  Diego Forlan of Uruguay looks on during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Third Place Play-off match between Uruguay and Germany at The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on July 10, 2010 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Diego Forlan has earned the praise of everyone in this World Cup. No other player has defined his squad as much as Forlan has been the backbone of this Uruguayan team.

The important goals, the important moments (aside from Suarez's infamous hand) have come from the relentless striker.

He is tied for the lead in goals with Thomas Mueller, David Villa, and Wesley Sneijder.

But Germany also has Klose, and Ozil, and Podolski.

Villa has had a great outing and has the strong majority of his team's goals, but many of his goals have been off beautiful feeds by his teammates.

Sneijder has shared attention on the top-heavy Dutch side with Arjen Robben still considered by many the strongest threat on the team.

Forlan was able to carve out wins out of nothing, with a touch on the ball that everyone else (except maybe Van Bronckhorst) should envy.

He played injured, and he almost tied the game for Uruguay on one leg with a superb free kick to end the Uruguayan campaign.

It could not have ended any other way. Forlan's boot was everything to his team.

His five goals were inspirational. When he was not making shots he was making crosses.

He led the team with dignity—never falling to the whining ways or dives of many of today's superstars.

He came with a team much weaker than that of Villa or Sneijder.

With a team hardly deemed worthy of leaving the group stage, he helped lead a team of warriors to the final four of the World Cup.