Atletico Madrid's Diego Forlan made honorary Penarol member ahead of Copa Libertadores final

The striker was named Penarol's 40,000th member in Monday's presentation, and admitted that he could not wait to see his team in action in Wednesday's Libertadores final
Atletico Madrid and Uruguay star Diego Forlan has been made an honorary member of Penarol, and admitted that he was delighted to have the chance to watch his boyhood idols in another Copa Libertadores final on Wednesday evening.

A lifelong fan of the Montevideo giants, Forlan began his youth career with the team before moving as a teenager to Argentina's Independiente.

He was presented as the club's 40,000th member in a ceremony held on Monday night, in the Estadio Centenario's football museum. Father and former Manya and Sao Paulo legend Pablo was present, as was current Penarol coach Diego Aguirre.

The striker also received the famous gold and yellow shirt with his name and the number printed on the back, as well as a replica of the supporters' biggest banner in the world which was made for 2011.

Speaking at the presentation, Forlan recalled attending the 1987 Copa Libertadores final as a child - he was eight-years-old at the time - and affirmed that it was wonderful to see his idols back at the summit of South American football.

"It is incredible to be attending another final. It has brought back all I experienced in 1987," he recalled, referring to the last time Penarol lifted the trophy with victory over America de Cali.

"I remember that I was tiny, and I could not see anything from the America stand because the Centenario was exploding all around us."

Penarol take on Santos in the first leg of the final in Montevideo this Wednesday, hoping to secure their sixth triumph in the competition. Forlan meanwhile is preparing for Uruguay's bid to lift the Copa America; the Celeste are in Group C along with Chile, Mexico and Peru.

Follow Goal.com on . Get the latest football news direct... Check out Goal.com's  page; be part of the best football fan community in the world!