Diego Forlan to leave Kitchee and retire

Diego Forlan will play his last game for Kitchee football club this Sunday, and looks set to retire from football. The 39 year old signed for the Hong Kong champions to help them in their Asian Champions League campaign. He has spent 4 months in Hong Kong and scored just six goals for Kitchee.

Even though it seems that Forlan has returned a miserly amount of goals compared with the cost it took Kitchee to bring him to Hong Kong; he will have still offered a lot to Kitchee that cannot be easy to see or quantify. There won’t be many players playing in Hong Kong’s football leagues that have the experience that he does of playing in many top leagues around the World plus huge international tournaments.

It has been widely reported that Forlan has basically repaid the cost himself due to the level of interest the transfer generated. Kitchee’s attendances definitely shot up when it was announced he would be signing, even if it didn’t reach the hoped for 20,000 that the Kitchee chairman wanted.

Kitchee posted a video last week with Forlan revealing their new shirt for next season which they will wear in their last game. This may have raised some fans hopes that Forlan will be staying on for another season. If Kitchee’s management already knew he was leaving then it was a very clever marketing ploy by them. Get the most famous player you have, and possibly who has played in Hong Kong to announce your new shirt, then state it will be worn in the last game – all before announcing Forlan won’t be signing a new deal.

The Kitchee chairman has said he doesn’t know where Forlan will go next but it is heavily expected that he will retire, with the chairman also stating that Forlan has the interest in opening football schools and taking them worldwide. They do however seem very happy with Forlan’s contribution to the Kitchee cause with a lot of people around the world now knowing about Kitchee because of Forlan’s signing alone. One could say profile has been raised and the main goal behind the transfer has been firmly met.  

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