La Celeste proclaimed themselves champions of South America for a record 15th time in the history of the Copa América.
After comfortably seeing off Peru in the continental tournament’s semi-finals by a score of 2-0 last Tuesday, Uruguay crushed Paraguay 3-0 in the competition’s final in Buenos Aires on Sunday.
Atlético Madrid’s Diego Forlán struck twice in his national team’s victory, while Uruguayan head coach Óscar Tabárez handed Rojiblanco Diego Godín his first minutes of play in the tournament.
While Forlán had struggled to impress throughout the cup and was considered somewhat of a disappointment following his electrifying World Cup Golden Ball-winning campaign of the summer of 2010, he had been very instrumental in his side’s success en route to the championship match.
Forlán consistently displayed his world class skill as his country’s set piece specialist, but the emphasis was always on his poor form in front of goal.
But on Sunday, Atleti fans witnessed the return of ‘Uruguayo’.
After the competition’s ‘Most Valuable Player’, Luis Suárez, had given Uruguay an early 1-0 lead, Forlán smacked home a left-footed shot to put la Celeste up 2-0 in the 41st minute.
The goal was Diego’s first since the 5th of March and broke a streak of 13 international games in which he had not found the back of the net.
Then, Forlán capped off his country’s historic day with a late goal in the 89th minute.
The drought-busting brace took Cachavacha’s total to 31 goals in the sky blue shirt, tying him with striker Héctor Scarone at the top of the Uruguayan national team’s all-time goalscoring chart.
The 32-year-old now belongs to a third generation of family members who have lifted the CONMEBOL trophy, following in the footsteps of his maternal grandfather Juan Carlos Corazo and his father Pablo Forlán.
“My grandfather won it, my father won it and now I’ve won it,” Forlán said after the clash. “It’s an honour for my family.
“We’re happy for all of Uruguay, for all the people. And now, to celebrate!”
Moments later, Forlán inadvertently exposed team-mate Martín Cáceres by submitting a very short video of his squad’s locker room celebration via Twitter.
Sevilla’s Cáceres appeared in the background of the clip as naked as the day he was born.
Last week, Forlán reportedly told coach Gregorio Manzano he wanted to return to Madrid as soon as possible after the cup to take part in our Europa League qualifier at the Vicente Calderón on Thursday against Stromsgodset.
The fully-in-shape blonde attacker could be a major asset to Atleti in their bout against the Norwegian side should he be called upon by Manzano.
Diego Godín enters the scene
Godin came into the final in the 88th minute, after having spent the entirety of the Copa on the bench up until that point.
A virus and ensuing lack of fitness kept our centre-back out of service in previous matches, and the 25-year-old had been the only Uruguayan field player to not have participated in the competition before coach Tabárez subbed him in on Sunday.
Manzano chose to leave Godín off the list for our Europa League qualifier, and it is unclear when he will be returning to Madrid.