Biography

Luis Diaz

Colombian Footballer
Luis Diaz
Luis Diaz (Photo: LFCTV GO / Screengrab)

Luis Diaz is a Colombian footballer who plays as a winger for Liverpool FC.

Luis Diaz

• Date of birth: 13 January 1997
• Age: 25 years old
• Place of birth: Barrancas, Colombia
• Nationality: Colombia
• Position: Winger
• Height: 178cm / 5ft 10ins
• Weight: 73kg / 161lbs
• Wages: Around £56,000 per week (Unconfirmed)

• Instagram: @luisdiaz19_
• Twitter: @luisdiaz19_

The 25-year-old began his playing career at Colombian side Barranquilla and moved to Europe in 2019 when he signed for Portuguese club FC Porto.

In the 2019-20 season, his first campaign at the club, he helped FC Porto to win the Portuguese league title and the Taca de Portugal crown.

His impressive performances for the Portuguese side eventually ended up netting him a move to Premier League side Liverpool FC in the January 2022 transfer window.

He hit the ground running at Anfield, scoring on his fourth appearance for the Merseyside outfit.

Diaz made his senior international debut for Colombia in 2018 and he netted his first goal for his national side in March 2019.

So, what do we know about Diaz’s journey towards becoming the talented attacking midfielder he is today? This is his story.

Early Life, Parents And Upbringing

Luis Diaz (full name: Luis Fernando Diaz Marulanda) was born on 13 January 1997 in Barrancas, Colombia. His is a member of the Wayuu – the largest indigenous community in Colombia.

As a youngster, one of Diaz’s hobbies was to watch large trains go by his small village of Barrancas several times per day, carrying coal from the Cerrejon, one of the world’s biggest open pit coal mines.

Early on in his youth career, Diaz was coached by former Colombia international John ‘Pocillo’ Diaz after he was called up to represent his national side at the the Copa America of Indigenous People in mid-2015.

Diaz suffered from malnutrition in his younger years and ‘Pocillo’ Diaz admitted that the winger looked underweight when he first met him.

“For a moment, we thought it would be very difficult for him to perform because Lucho seemed to have malnutrition problems – he was very skinny and lost the duels with other players,” ‘Pocillo’ Diaz said in an interview with BBC Sport.

“But despite that, he managed to stand out among 400 candidates and make the 26-man squad. He initially played as a striker, but had one big issue in his game. He used to run with the ball with his head down, so sometimes he didn’t even notice that he had reached the end of the pitch.

Luis Diaz

Luis Diaz (Photo: @luisdiaz19_ / Instagram)

“He was very fast and had a very good technique, the ball would stick to his foot like glue.”

Atletico Junior

After initially impressing at Barranquilla, an affiliate club of Atletico Junior, Diaz was promoted to Atletico Junior’s main squad in 2017.

Diaz helped Atletico Junior to win the league title in 2018 and also reach the Copa Sudamericana final the following year.

The winger scored 20 goals in 108 games for Junior’s first team between 2017 and 2019. His fine performances had not gone unnoticed and he soon attracted interest from Europe.

FC Porto

FC Porto signed Diaz on 10 July 2019, with the Colombian penning an initial five-year contract with the Portuguese club, and he was handed the number seven shirt.

Diaz made his first-team debut for FC Porto on 7 August 2019 in a 1–0 win at Krasnodar in the Champions League first qualifying round first leg as a substitute.

He scored his first goal for the Portugese side on 13 August 2019, netting in a 3–2 loss to Krasnodar at the Estadio do Dragao.

Diaz was a regular fixture in the FC Porto squad in the 2019-20 campaign as they won the Portuguese title. He scored six goals and made two assists in 29 league games for FC Porto in the 2019-20 season.

In the 2020-21 campaign, Diaz scored six goals and made five assists in 30 league games. He also netted two goals in nine appearances in the Champions League.

As the 2021-22 season developed, Diaz emerged as a transfer target for Liverpool FC – and the winger was on the move in January 2022.

Liverpool FC

After plenty of speculation, Liverpool FC completed a deal to sign Diaz from FC Porto on 30 January 2022. He initially penned a five-and-a-half year contract with the Reds and the transfer fee was reported to be around £37m.

Reports in the media following the transfer suggested that Diaz would be earning around £56,000 per week at Anfield.

Luis Diaz

Luis Diaz (Photo: LFCTV GO / Screengrab)

“I’m very happy and pleased to be here at this great team and this great club,” Diaz said in his first interview after signing for Liverpool FC. “I’ve not been here for very long but in the short time I’ve had with my new teammates, I’ve shared a few words with some great players and real references at this club.

“I’m very proud to be meeting up with them, and to now have the chance to play alongside them as a team-mate and share a dressing room with them is a great source of pride for me. I’m really happy and content to be here.”

Diaz made his first appearance for the Liverpool FC first team on 6 February 2022, when he came on as a second-half substitute in the 3-1 FA Cup fourth-round win over Cardiff City at Anfield.

His Premier League debut came four days later, when he started and played the full 90 minutes in Liverpool FC’s 2-0 victory over Leicester City at Anfield.

He made his Champions League bow for the Reds six days later when he came on in the second half of Liverpool FC’s 2-0 victory at Inter Milan in the first leg of their last-16 clash at the San Siro.

Diaz scored his first goal for Liverpool FC on 19 February 2022, when he netted his side’s third goal in their 3-1 Premier League victory over Norwich City at Anfield.

Diaz earned praise from Liverpool FC captain Jordan Henderson following the victory over the Canaries. “His work-rate, and in training, you can see he has quality as well when one versus one,” Henderson said after Diaz scored against Norwich City. “His shooting is really good and his finishing you can see today is top drawer.

“The run makes the goal. As soon as he makes the run it’s easy to play the pass. It’s a great touch and finish so I should be thanking him.”

International Career

Diaz represented Colombia at Under-20 level in the 2017 South American U-20 Championship.

He was first called up to the senior national team in August 2018 for friendlies against Venezuela and Argentina.

Diaz made his first senior appearance for the Colombian national team on 11 September 2018 as a substitute in a goalless draw against Argentina.

He scored his first international goal in March 2019, netting in a 2–1 friendly loss away to South Korea.

Luis Diaz

Luis Diaz (Photo: @luisdiaz19_ / Instagram)

Life Away From The Pitch

Diaz’s girlfriend girlfriend, Gera Ponce, was at Anfield when Diaz made his Premier League debut against Leicester City in February 2022. The couple are believed to have begun their relationship in 2016.

What Have Others Said?

Liverpool FC boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking after Luis Diaz’s first two appearances for the Reds: “Luis is a top boy, a top class player. He showed that already in two appearances he had for us. He is a new player, we have to get used to new things in a team, we have all other players fit and they know exactly what I want from them.

“We give Luis a little bit more time to adapt to it. He is an incredible player, his joy and love for football is so obvious. When you see him training, he cannot stop smiling. I have never had a player like this. It’s crazy. We are so, so happy to have him here. It’s absolutely great.

“We expect a lot from him in the future. Now already but in the future as well. I have a good feeling it will be a really nice story with Luis at Liverpool.”

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