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I am very happy at Atletico Madrid – Premier League target Diego Forlan

Atletico Madrid forward Diego Forlan has brushed off reports of a move to the Premier League by claiming he is happy to stay in the Spanish capital.

The Uruguayan picked up the World Cup 2010 Golden Ball after steering his nation to the semi-finals, and it seemed that his form would spark a move to England with interest from Tottenham and Manchester United, but the Atleti man is not bothered.

“I am very happy at Atletico Madrid and have three years left on my current contract so I will be definitely staying," he told reporters.

“The English Premier League has very strong teams and you never know what will happen in future but for now I am an Atletico player and will be playing for them in the coming season.

“Madrid is a great city and La Liga is a fantastic league so I am enjoying my football at Atletico and looking forward to the new season.

The Atleti star was in India for a reality TV show and took time out to discuss his future - and his past - including the infamous barren spell at Manchester United.

“It was difficult for me to adapt in England initially as I had moved from Argentina and so there was a massive difference in the cultures," he added.

“On the pitch it was equally tough because I wasn’t a regular and most of the time had to be a substitute. So as time progressed it was becoming even more difficult so I spoke to the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] and decided to join Villarreal where I played regularly and had a wonderful spell.”

The 31-year old also answered several questions related to his successful 2010 World Cup campaign. He picked his personal favourite from the five goals he scored and also explained why winning the Golden Ball was more important to him than securing the Golden Boot.

“All the five goals that I scored in the World Cup were special but if I have to choose one I would say the goal against Germany in the third place play-off was my favourite.

“I knew I had a chance to win the Golden Ball as I was nominated but I thought the players who played in the final had a better chance.

“In the end I was chosen for the award and it was truly a great moment. I would have also liked to win the Golden Boot but the Golden Ball is definitely the one I would prefer as it goes to the best player of the tournament.”

Forlan also defended his international teammate Luis Suarez, who handled the ball to deny Ghana an extra-time winner in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

“Suarez was punished for handling the ball as he was sent off and thus was suspended for the semi-final. Ghana were also awarded the penalty but they failed to convert it and then we won on penalties.

“Therefore I don’t think we can blame Suarez because he was shown a red card for his actions and Ghana also had the opportunity to score.”

Prior to the 2010 World Cup, Diego Forlan wasn’t a household name despite winning the European Golden Boot twice. Many of his admirers believe that the striker hasn’t got the recognition he has deserved and was somewhat underrated until he won the Golden Ball in South Africa.

However Forlan himself has no complains and is glad that finally his efforts have got worthy recognition.

“I have no regrets," he added. "It's better late than ever so I have no complaints against anybody. I have had a wonderful career so far and I want to keep working hard and score more goals and win more matches for both club and country.”

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