By Damian Tiscorni
Former Inter star Alvaro Recoba has defended his compatriot Diego Forlan's unhappy spell at the Italian giants, claiming that the striker was handed an impossible task in trying to fill the shoes of Samuel Eto'o following the Cameroonian's move to Russia.
The former Manchester United striker arrived at San Siro for the 2011-12 season, shortly after the former Real Madrid and Barcelona forward completed a lucrative switch to Anzhi Makhachkala.
However, he failed to reproduce his form in Spain with Atletico Madrid, however, playing 18 league games for the Serie A outfit and finding the net just twice.
According to Recoba, who played for the Nerazzuri for over 10 years and currently belongs to Montevideo giants Nacional, Forlan's disappointment was down to unrealistic expectations placed on him by the Inter faithful.
"Inter are a very tough team. If you look at the fans, it is complicated. The fans are very demanding on the players, they want the team to play well," the 36-year-old told Goal.com when asked about his countryman, who completed a move to Internacional in July.
"He came in just when Samuel Eto'o was leaving and, like it or not, they made it out over there that he had come in for Eto'o. The truth is that Diego is completely different to the kind of player Eto'o is."
Recoba's time in Milan coincided with a successful era for Inter, who lifted two Serie A titles, two Coppa Italias and the 1997-8 Uefa Cup with the Uruguayan in the team.
And, according to the veteran, club owner Massimo Moratti deserved a great deal of the credit for those trophy-laden years.
"He is a president that I think any team would love to have. A president that is a fan and who is passionate about the institution," Recoba explained.
"He is an excellent person. Inter recently managed to win the Champions League and the Club World Cup; I think that is a reward for all the effort [Moratti] put in because you have to make a big financial commitment to be president of Inter. Sorry, the owner not the president!"
The former Uruguay international continues to star in his home nation, playing a decisive role in the last season as Nacional lifted the 2011-12 Primera Division title.