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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
By ESPN Staff

Forlan delighted to book Champions League return

Diego Forlan declared himself "very happy" after helping Atletico Madrid back into the Champions League and virtually assuring himself of finishing as La Liga's leading goalscorer.

Forlan continued his remarkable run of success in the latter part of the season with Atletico's final goal in their 3-0 victory over Almeria.

That strike meant Forlan scored at least once in each of Atletico's final eight matches, during which time he netted 12 times, and he ended the campaign on 32 goals.

With nearest challengers Samuel Eto'o (30), David Villa (28) and Lionel Messi (23) all finishing their campaigns last night, it will need a miracle for someone to deny Forlan the Pichichi award as the division's leading scorer in today's games.

Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain is fourth in the scoring charts on 21, so he will need to score 12 against Osasuna this evening to overhaul Forlan.

"I'm very happy because we've obtained qualification to the Champions League for the second successive year and because I've achieved the Pichichi in a league as strong as the Spanish one," said a confident Forlan, who also won the Pichichi award with Villarreal after netting 25 times in the 2004/05 season.

"I'm very grateful to everyone at this club. To have won the Pichichi at Atleti and what it means to this team is very important."

Atletico will begin their Champions League qualifying campaign in August against an as yet unknown opponent, but Forlan insists he is not looking that far ahead yet.

"It's not going to be easy I'm sure, but there's no need to think about that now. We have to have a good rest and start next season with good force," said Forlan, who insists he is happy at the Vicente Calderon as speculation continues about his future and where he may be playing next season.

"Now I have two important games with Uruguay but before then we need to enjoy the win (against Almeria). I'm very happy at Atletico Madrid and very relaxed. It's been quite a long season and I'm tired," he added on his club's website.

Striker Sergio Aguero immediately set his sights on winning some silverware with the Rojiblancos next season after helping them secure a top-four finish this time around.

"It's been a great end to the season with the team getting into the Champions League," he said "As well as that, we've been able to make our fans happy. They've always been there, in the good and the bad moments. They deserve an end to the season like this.

"Next year we have to obtain a title, this must be the objective of the team."

Aguero also intends to be around to help Atletico achieve that goal.

The highly-rated Argentinian is considered one of Europe's rising stars and has regularly been linked to rival clubs, but the 20-year-old has never made any secret of his desire to stay at Atletico - at least for the immediate future.

"I've always said that I want to stay here, I'm very happy at Atletico," he reiterated following the game.


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