During Liverpool’s match against Nottingham Forest, which ended 3-0 in favor of the ‘Reds’, there were only signs of support and backing for Luis Daz and the complicated personal moment he is going through.
It wasn’t only the fans who looked to support the Colombian, but Jurgen Klopp too.
The context is quite complicated, as the parents of the winger from La Guajira were kidnapped on Saturday 28 October, while they were travelling in a van through the town where they have always lived. Although the police authorities reacted in time and managed to free ‘Lucho’s’ mother, his father was forced onto a motorbike and taken to an unknown destination.
For this reason, Diaz did not play the game on Sunday 29 October and many wondered what was going to happen at Anfield.
Diogo Jota replaced Luis Diaz and dedicated his goal to the Colombian.
The match was very important for Liverpool not to lose the rhythm and not to let themselves fall further behind Tottenham in the Premier League, but it was known that the match was loaded with emotions unrelated to the sport.
Because of the situation involving Diaz, with the Colombia international unable to make the squad, his place was taken by Portugal’s Diogo Jota.
The first goal of the game was scored by the same player who took Lucho’s place, after 30 minutes and after collecting a rebound in the Nottingham Forest area. But instead of celebrating, he immediately went to the team bench to ask for the shirt with the number 7 and the name ‘Luis Diaz’ on the back.
When he received it in his hands, he held it out in front of the crowd and the tribute was emotional, so much so that the crowd in attendance gave him a standing ovation that touched many. Even the narrator of the ESPN Latin America broadcast, Juan Manuel ‘el Bambino’ Pons, did not bring out one of his usual songs to praise the scorer, he only had a respectful comment about ‘Lucho’.
The goals kept coming, then Uruguay’s Darwin Nunez made his presence felt on 35 minutes with a strike.
In the 76th minute, Mohamed Salah‘s goal made the score 3-0, and both the celebration and the narration on ESPN were normal but the tribute to Diaz and his family was already going around the world with Jota’s goal and gesture.
Jurgen Klopp did not forget Luis Diaz and spoke of his family situation
In his post-match comments on the official Premier League broadcast, Jurgen Klopp spoke about what happened to his first-choice winger and accepted that it is a complicated thing to deal with:
“But we are here, focused on the football we have to do, but it was a special preparation. I have to be honest, I’ve never been through this in many games before, but it’s a new experience that I never would have needed,” Klopp admitted.
Although Klopp wanted to make it clear that sport and football were on his mind, he did not disassociate himself from this complicated issue involving his player.
“We wanted to go to his house, send people with him. But there were also people from his family and they wanted to be together, it’s totally understandable,” he added.
“How can you have an important football match on a day like this? It’s really difficult. I’ve never faced anything like this in my life, the pitch has always been my safe place, my hiding place, whether as a player or as a coach. During those 90 or more minutes you are allowed to concentrate on that and it was impossible to do that. We had to give the game an extra meaning and we were fighting for ‘Lucho’…”.
Closing his thoughts on the case, Klopp gave credit to his players for the gestures they made towards Diaz.
“Then the boys pulled the shirt out, I wasn’t 100 percent prepared for this, to be honest. It was really touching and wonderful. That’s all.”