Jurgen Klopp admits it’s still a ‘quite emotional’ situation after Luis Diaz made a goal-rich return for Liverpool against Luton in his first appearance since his parents were kidnapped in Colombia
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Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Luis Diaz was keen to be involved again in Liverpool’s squad for the away match against Luton.
Diaz missed Liverpool’s matches against Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth after his parents were kidnapped in Colombia.
The winger opted to return to training this week and was subsequently named on the bench for the match at Kenilworth Road. Diaz came on in the 83rd minute of the match and scored a late equalizer in a 1–1 draw. After his goal, Diaz revealed a message to his father on his shirt, reading: ‘Freedom for daddy’.
Klopp stated that returning to the squad gave Diaz the chance to temporarily think about something other than his current struggles.
Liverpool boss Klopp added that signs are positive that Diaz’s father will be released.
Luis Diaz made an emotional return to action for Liverpool after his parents were kidnapped when he scored as a substitute against Luton
Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Luis Diaz was keen to return to the Liverpool squad against Luton
Klopp says there are encouraging signs that Diaz’s father will be released
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Klopp told Sky Sports: ‘It’s still quite emotional, but Luis decided three days ago that he wanted to try and train again. I said before: the training field and the football field are the safe place for the boys.
‘He can behave normally there, he can forget what’s going on for at least a few minutes, but all the signals he gets are, as far as I understand it, very positive.
“Negotiations are ongoing but it is positive and that is why he wanted to be part of the team. He was able to get back to work and therefore trained well. From that point of view there are no problems, but no one can really imagine what something like that feels like. But on the training ground it was fine, on the pitch it was fine, so that’s why he’s here.”
Government officials confirmed that Diaz’s parents had been taken by a left-wing guerrilla group considered terrorists by the US and European Union.
Diaz’s mother was released on the same night the couple were snatched from the streets of their hometown in Colombia’s La Guajira region by four armed men on motorcycles, but the search for his father continues.
On Thursday, it was confirmed by Colombian authorities that the Colombian terrorist group Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN) was behind the kidnapping, with Otty Patino, leader of the Colombian government’s peace delegation, stating: “Today we have been officially informed that the kidnapping was committed by a unit of the ELN.
‘To the ELN, we demand the immediate release of Mr. Luis Manuel Diaz and we remind them that it is their responsibility to guarantee his life and integrity.
Diaz’s (left) father Luis Manuel (right) has yet to be released by left-wing rebel group ELN – but the guerrilla group’s head is reported to have said they made a ‘mistake’ by detaining the father
There are now 150 soldiers on the ground in Barrancas to speed up his release
“We remind the ELN that kidnapping is a criminal practice, contrary to international humanitarian law.”
The head of the ELN admitted that they had made a mistake by not freeing Diaz’s father.
“The detention of Luis Diaz’s father by the Northern War Front was a mistake,” ELN commander Antonio Garcia wrote on his Telegram channel. AFP.
‘Lucho is a symbol of Colombia, that’s how we at the ELN think about him’
There are 150 uniformed soldiers in the Barrancas area as authorities try to expedite the release of Diaz’s father.