Alisson Becker has hailed the “character” and “inner strength” shown by Liverpool teammate Luis Diaz during the draw with Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.
Diaz’s parents were recently kidnapped by armed gunmen in Colombia. While his mother, Cilenis Marulanda, was rescued last weekend, Diaz’s father is still yet to be found.
Colombian authorities reported on Friday that “a unit belonging to the ELN” – a left-wing rebel group that’s been active in the country since 1964 – had been behind the kidnapping, and Diaz has since sent a plea to the group to return his father to safety.
That plea was made following Diaz’s goalscoring return to action with Liverpool. The forward asked to be a part of the matchday squad for the trip to Luton and, having come off the bench in the final ten minutes, scored a header to rescue a point for the Reds in the 95th minute.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the draw, Alisson was keen to praise Diaz’s contribution.
“It says a lot about his character, about his inner strength. Not many people [can] imagine what he is going [through], even as we are close to him, of course we are supporting him,” the goalkeeper said.
“We feel his pain but for him it’s a different level. Football sometimes in dark moments can bring joy to people, can bring joy to somebody who is struggling. And I think football is bringing a slice of joy to Lucho at this time.
“We are together with him for whatever he needs, to take his time. He came, trained, came to the game, scored a fantastic goal for us that was really important. We are with him 100 per cent. Football always surprises, in a good way sometimes. It happened with me when I was going through a really difficult moment and happened today and happened other times for other people.
“When you are on the pitch you are focused on doing the job, I think he was focused on doing this, trying to help the team to get the points. And he did that for us.”
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