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Glory the goal for Forlán

Published: Tuesday 11 May 2010, 21.45CET
Diego Forlán scored the goals that took Club Atlético de Madrid past Galatasaray AŞ and Liverpool FC yet will gladly leave the heroics to his team-mates against Fulham FC.
by Gonzalo Aguado
from Hamburg

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Published: Tuesday 11 May 2010, 21.45CET

Glory the goal for Forlán

Diego Forlán scored the goals that took Club Atlético de Madrid past Galatasaray AŞ and Liverpool FC yet will gladly leave the heroics to his team-mates against Fulham FC.

Club Atlético de Madrid would not be contesting their first European final in 24 years without the goals of Diego Forlán, who scored home and away in the semi-final triumph over Liverpool FC to take his campaign total to four and counting.

However, personal plaudits will again take second place to team success when the Uruguayan international leads the line for the Spanish capital club in Wednesday's UEFA Europa League final against Fulham FC in Hamburg.

"I am part of a team and the designated forward, so it is my job to score goals," said the striker, who not only shot down Liverpool in extra time at Anfield but also last-32 opponents Galatasaray AŞ in Istanbul. "The most important thing is that we perform well and win – it doesn't matter who scores. Getting a goal is always beautiful and something I enjoy – getting two against Liverpool was wonderful and not just because I played for Manchester United. But now all I want is to win the trophy."

Even so, lifting Atlético's second piece of European silverware after the 1962 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup will be no mean feat according to the 30-year-old attacker. First-time finalists Fulham will see to that. "Those who like their football will know about Fulham," he said. "They've had a really good season in their domestic league and of course this tournament. They play attractive football and have shown that against every team they've played. We will give everything to beat them but we know it's going to be difficult. It is a hard game to call."

Having spent two and a half seasons with Manchester United FC before his 2004 transfer to the Spanish Liga and Villarreal CF, Forlán should arguably have a deeper insight into the opposition than his team-mates. "Fulham are a side I've seen a lot of – because as well as being a player I am a fan of the game," he said. "They have strong physical players who are also good on the ball. They have battled through some tricky ties, so we recognise the test we're facing."

His Premier League know-how in coming up against sturdy central defenders may also benefit Atlético: the challenge presented by Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes will not faze Forlán as he lines up alongside partner Sergio Agüero. "I've played against big guys before. You just get on with it."

Nor is he feeling the pressure resulting from Atlético's greater European pedigree compared with that of Fulham. "We are a club with a lot of history but we are playing in a final and we don't want to think about that history before the game," he continued. "We've had a difficult year and now is our chance to enjoy this final and to try and win it."

The Rojiblancos do, however, have an opportunity to lift their first trophy since 1996, either at Fulham's expense or against Sevilla FC in the Copa del Rey final on 19 May. It is an assignment their No7 refers to as "our duty".

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