Former Uruguayan footballer Diego Forlan has revealed he wanted to return to Indian Super League franchise Mumbai City FC but the club did not renew his contract after the 2016 season. Forlan, who played for Manchester United between 2002 and 2004, was signed by Mumbai City FC, scoring a hat-trick against Kerala Blasters and propelling the team to the top after the round-robin stage.

But his contract wasn’t renewed the next season, despite strong rumours of his return. In January 2018, the 40-year-old signed with Hong Kong Premier League side Kitchee before announcing his retirement from professional football earlier this year in August.

“I wanted to come back here, but they did not offer me. I did not have the opportunity of coming back to Mumbai, which I wanted to,” he said.

Having played football at the top level for over two decades, Forlan now intends to take up coaching assignments. Across his career, he has played for United, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and more, and the 40-year-old doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to give back to the sport. “I’m travelling to Europe next year to earn a UEFA coaching license. I had a good time here when I played. So, why not? It would be really nice,” Forlan said.

Forlan also said he thinks the ISL should have a relegation system to bring out better motives and performances from the players.

“ISL and MSL don’t have relegation. But the fact is the owners put in so much money. If your team is relegated, then owners feel that they are pulling money but there is no return. So, that’s one way. But in the future, they should do it,” he added.

“It’s good to win. Of course, if you play for relegation, it’s challenging. It’s different when you play to win the sport and when you are going down, going for second division. It can be tough for the team and the fans. But it should be good, that’s how it happens all around the world. Maybe in the future it will change. I prefer the format they play in across the globe.”