(From L to R)Uruguay's soccer player Diego Forlan, Italian coach Fabio Cannavaro and former soccer player Ronaldo of Brazil attend the preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia July 25, 2015. (Xinhua/Dai Tianfang)
(From L to R)Uruguay's soccer player Diego Forlan, Italian coach Fabio Cannavaro and former soccer player Ronaldo of Brazil attend the preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia July 25, 2015. (Xinhua/Dai Tianfang)

Former Manchester United and Uruguay international striker Diego Forlan has been sacked as head coach of Penarol after just 11 matches in charge of his boyhood club.

The announcement came a day after Penarol’s 2-0 home defeat to Wanderers, a result that left them seventh in the Uruguayan first division standings.

“Penarol thanks Diego Forlan for his contribution during these eight months in charge of the first team,” the Montevideo club said in a tweet posted late Monday.

Forlan guided Penarol to four wins, three draws and four defeats after assuming the managerial role last December. His spell was interrupted by a five-month hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 41-year-old expressed gratitude to the club he first joined as an 11-year-old.

“Thank you for the opportunity you gave me, it made me proud to lead Club Atletico Penarol,” he said on Twitter. “To the players, thank you very much for your patience, your respect, your dedication and your teachings.

“To all those who work day in, day out, and in silence, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Finally, thanks to the fans for the love. I have no regrets.”

Forlan, who was capped 112 times for Uruguay, retired from football in August last year after a professional career spanning more than two decades.

Voted the best player of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, in which the Celeste reached the semifinals, he was also a key member of the Uruguay team that won the 2011 Copa America in Argentina.

Forlan’s career included spells at Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and Villarreal. He returned to Penarol as a player in 2015 and 2016, scoring eight goals in 30 league outings.

Penarol finished runners-up in last year’s first division title race after losing 1-0 to champions Nacional in the competition decider.

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