Luis Diaz is a professional football player from Colombia who currently plays as a winger for the Portuguese club FC Porto and the Colombia national team.
He was born on January 13, 1997, in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Díaz began his professional career with Barranquilla-based club Barranquilla FC in 2016 before moving to Junior FC in 2017.
He quickly established himself as one of the most promising young talents in Colombian football, earning a move to FC Porto in 2019.
Since joining Porto, Díaz has become a key player for the team, helping them win the Primeira Liga title in the 2020-21 season.
He has also represented Colombia at the international level, making his debut in 2019 and playing in the 2021 Copa America.
Luis Díaz parents
Díaz is the first child of his parents, Luis Manuel Diaz and Silenis Marulanda.
He grew up alongside his two younger brothers, Roger and Jesus, who have also played football for Barranquilla FC’s under-20 team and Atletico Junior.
Díaz’s father is a football enthusiast, and used to train teams from the local coal mine after the miners’ shifts and would bring his sons to watch and learn.
Both of the Liverpool star’s parents agreed that their childhood would combine both football and education.
Luis Díaz’s parents kidnapping
According to Daily Mail, Díaz’s parents are thought to have been kidnapped in their homeland of Colombia.
As per local reports, the player’s mother and father were stopped in their vehicles by the assailants in the town of Barrancas, in La Guajira.
The suspected kidnappers then commandeered the van that Díaz’s parents were travelling in, and fled the scene.
National Gaula police director Colonel Geovanni Cristancho is travelling to the northern region to spearhead the search and rescue.
Both military and police services are working together in the region to help identify the whereabouts of the victims.
Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office were quick to respond with a statement shared to X, formerly Twitter, stating;
“From the moment in which the Fiscalía General of the Nation learned of the kidnapping of the parents of the Colombian player Luis Díaz, in the Barrancas sector, in La Guajira, a specialized team of prosecutors, officials of the Technical Investigation Corps, CTI and investigators from the Gaula Police and Military are in urgent action in order to find the location of these people, clarify the facts and find those responsible.”
Crime rate in Colombia
Colombia is one of the most affected countries by criminality and violence in Latin America and the world.
The country has a high crime rate due to being a center for the cultivation and trafficking of cocaine.
The Colombian conflict began in the mid-1960s and is a low-intensity asymmetric war between various armed groups, drug cartels, and the government.
The homicide rate in Colombia was 24.75 per 100,000 people in 2019, which is higher than the global average.
However, the homicide rate has decreased in recent years, and by 2016, it was the lowest since 1974.
Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia, has gone to great lengths to change its crime rate and its image with increasing success after being considered in the mid-90s to be one of the most violent cities in the world.
In 1993, there were 4,352 intentional homicides at a rate of 81 per 100,000 people; in 2007, Bogotá suffered 1,401 murders at a rate of 19 per 100,000 inhabitants.
However, robberies in affluent districts like Poblado and Laureles/Estadio have also been on the rise.
Socioeconomic factors, such as income inequality and poverty, and sociological factors, such as the notion that Colombians are more violent by nature, do not appear to be the central explanation of crime rates in the country.
The Colombian government has taken a hard-line approach to organized crime, aiming to weaken criminal groups, particularly in light of the peace deal negotiated with FARC.
However, the government’s focus on forced eradication of drug crops rather than softer crop-substitution programs, and its iron-fisted approach to citizen security, have led to an increase in violence and criminal activity, particularly in rural areas and places controlled by armed groups and criminal networks.
Luis Díaz career
Diaz was born on January 13, 1997, in Barrancas, La Guajira, and began playing football at the age of six.
Nicknamed “Luchito,” he attended a small football school run by his father.
Díaz began his professional career in the Colombian Second Division at Barranquilla before moving to Atlético Junior, where he won Categoría Primera A, one Copa Colombia, and one Superliga Colombiana.
He was included in Colombia’s 22-man squad for the 2015 Copa Americana de Pueblos Indígenas due to his Wayuu ethnicity.
On January 30, 2022, Díaz signed a five-year contract at Premier League club Liverpool for a reported €45 million (£37.5 million) with €15 million (£12.5 million) add-ons.
Prior to signing for Liverpool, he had attracted interest from Tottenham Hotspur.
Upon learning of Tottenham’s bid, Liverpool changed their summer plans and decided to sign Díaz on a permanent deal after impressing Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp.
Díaz has made a spectacular impact at Liverpool and is expected to start in Saturday’s Champions League final.
According to Transfermarkt, his market value is €75.00m.