Uruguayan forward Diego Forlan has announced retirement from football at the age of 40.

The former Manchester United, Atletico Madrid , Inter Milan and Villareal forward , who also won the FIFA World Cup 2010 Golden Ball Award, took to microblogging site Twitter to announce the end of his 21-year career.

“After 21 years I made the decision to end my career as a professional footballer.A beautiful stage closes full of great memories and emotions but another of new challenges will begin.¬†Thanks to all who in one way or another accompanied me on this path!” wrote Forlan.

He also represented Uruguay on 112 occasions and scored 36 goals in the process.