Atletico Madrid news

Forlan challenged to earn back place

April 29, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan has been told he must earn his place in his starting eleven back, by coach Quique Sanchez Flores.

Diego Forlan: Two-time Pichichi winner
GettyImagesTwo-time Pichichi winner Diego Forlan could be on his way out of Atletico Madrid

Forlan, who starred for Uruguay at the 2010 World Cup, has been one of the best strikers in Spain over the past few years - bagging 66 goals in his first three seasons at Atletico after a similarly successful spell with Villarreal.

However, Flores has dropped the striker after a succession of poor displays and has challenged him to overcome his problems and win his place back.

"It's my job to train the player and to make decisions,'' he told AS. ''I haven't lost faith in any of my players, but I have to make sure I field the best players."

Flores compared the situation to that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who similarly underwent a poor patch of form during his spell with Barcelona.

"Diego has now lost his spot in the starting eleven, but the competition for places continues,'' he said. ''His current situation can be compared to what happened with Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Barcelona last season."

Spurs and Juventus have been linked with a £20 million move for Forlan and can be buoyed by the comparison, as Ibrahimovic left the Nou Camp (joining AC Milan on loan) after a year.