In a jubilant revelation, Jürgen Klopp, the esteemed manager of Liverpool, shared the elation radiating from Luis Díaz in the wake of his father’s liberation.
The Colombian forward’s father, Luis Díaz Sr, had been abducted alongside his wife, Cilenis Marulanda, on the 28th of October in their hometown of Barrancas, nestled in Colombia’s northern La Guajira state. It’s worth noting that Díaz’s mother was fortunately freed hours after the abduction.
After enduring a protracted period of uncertainty and engaging in negotiations with the guerilla group, the National Liberation Army, Luis Díaz’s father was finally released on a Thursday, casting a glimmer of hope amid tense circumstances.
The manager’s recounting occurred prior to Liverpool’s descent into a contentious 3-2 defeat in southern France during their Europa League encounter in Toulouse. Notably, Luis Díaz played a pivotal role in this match, having started despite the turbulent events surrounding his family. Liverpool, having triumphed in their initial three Group E matches, sought a victory to secure passage to the knockout stages. Nevertheless, they found themselves trailing 2-0 and 3-1 against the French side, only to rekindle hope with Diogo Jota’s goal, setting the stage for a dramatic finale.
Adding a layer of complexity to the proceedings, young defender Jarell Quansah’s apparent equalizer in the seventh additional minute faced controversy. VAR intervened, bringing attention to a potential handball by Alexis Mac Allister in the buildup. A lengthy and perplexing review ensued, culminating in the Bulgarian official, Georgi Kabakov, dubiously disallowing the goal after scrutinizing the incident on the pitchside monitor.
Klopp, expressing his perspective, remarked, “It looked like a normal goal; I didn’t see a handball. But we deserved to lose.”
A statement released by Liverpool encapsulated the collective relief and gratitude: “We are delighted by the news of Luis Díaz’s father’s safe return, and we thank all those involved in securing his release.”