The best news on Thursday in the world of football was undoubtedly the safe return of Luis Manuel Diaz, father of the Liverpool ace, who had been kidnapped 12 days ago.
It would seem that such kidnappings are commonplace in Colombia where Luis Diaz’s parents still live, and that’s clearly a problem for the country.
So much so, that one of Colombia’s all-time footballing icons, James Rodriguez, has taken to X (formerly Twitter) to plead that more hostages are released.
Luis Manuel Díaz fue finalmente liberado… ???? Continuamos pidiendo la liberación inmediata para el resto de secuestrados en Colombia.
— James Rodríguez (@jamesdrodriguez) November 9, 2023
‘Luis Manuel Díaz was finally released…We continue to ask for the immediate release of the rest of those kidnapped in Colombia,’ his message said.
It’s to Luis Diaz’s great credit that he was still able to remain focused enough to play for Liverpool against Toulouse, a game that they ultimately lost 3-2 after having a 99th minute equaliser ruled out by VAR.
Being so far away from his parents and have them going through such an ordeal – his mother was released shortly after kidnap – has to have affected the player’s ability to perform at the highest level.
Liverpool had left any decision on whether he should play or not to the player himself, clearly understanding the gravitas of the situation and the mental anguish that Luis Diaz would be going through until the good news finally filtered through.