Luis Diaz to Liverpool: Eight things you probably didn't know about Colombia star

  • Kobe Tong
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Luis Diaz could be a Liverpool player before the conclusion of the January transfer window.

According to Sky Sports, the Reds are in ‘pole position’ to sign the FC Porto winger having made a last-gasp £45 million approach despite competition from Tottenham Hotspur.

Diaz reportedly prefers a move to Anfield and Liverpool have sent a team to Argentina, where the player is preparing for Colombia’s World Cup qualifiers, in order to complete the medical.

Diaz nears Liverpool move

And while the Nabil Fekir case is the perfect cautionary tale of Liverpool moves falling through when they seem secure, all roads lead to Diaz pulling on the famous red jersey nonetheless.

As such, here at GIVEMESPORT, we wanted to mark the occasion by shining a light on Diaz’s journey to the precipice of a Liverpool move because it’s certainly an inspiring and triumphant one.

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Thiago was born in which country?

Eight things you might not know about Diaz

Therefore, calling upon information in reports from the BBC and the Daily Mail, we can present to you eight things that you might not have known about Liverpool’s potential next signing below:

1. Grew up in one of Colombia’s most deprived regions

Diaz spent his younger years near the border with Venezuela in the La Guajira region where many children of the Wayuu people – of which he is a member – never get the chance to grow up.

The Mail quotes alarming figures that 4,770 Wayuu children died of malnutrition due to neglect from the Colombian government between 2008 and 2016.

In his home village of Barrancas, Diaz would watch huge coal trains carrying supplies ready for shipment to the very European shores that he now plays football to such an incredible standard.

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2. Discovered by Carlos Valderrama

Remarkably, one of the men credited with discovering the Liverpool-bound star is none other than an all-time great of Colombian football: Valderrama himself.

At the age of 17, Diaz caught the eye of the South American icon during trials for the Copa America of Indigenous People in 2015 and the rest, as they say, is history.

3. Concerns about his weight

However, the road to the top wasn’t without its bumps along the way because there were concerns surrounding Diaz’s weight with the footballing prodigy appearing dangerously skinny.

One of Diaz’s early coaches, John ‘Pocillo’ Diaz, told the BBC: “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. But despite that, he managed to stand out among 400 candidates and make the 26-man squad.”

And although Colombia were beaten in the final of the Copa America of Indigenous People, Diaz nevertheless impressed by scoring two goals in the tournament. 

4. Special measures to help Diaz shine

Second division Barranquilla eventually signed up the future FC Porto star and put him on a special diet, which included eating pasta for breakfast, that allowed him to put on 10 kilograms in weight.

In fact, Diaz’s ability and potential was so extraordinary that the Colombian side even created a new age group to ensure that the fledgling winger’s talents weren’t neglected.

5. Idolising Ronaldinho

Like many youngsters in South America and across the world, Diaz idolised Ronaldinho as his footballing hero and may well have modelled his love for tricks and flicks on the Barcelona icon.

6. Rejecting a Cardiff City move

Believe it or not, Diaz could have secured a transfer to the Premier League back in 2018/19, but rejected the opportunity to mark his arrival in European football by playing under Neil Warnock.

Instead, the future star followed in the footsteps of fellow Colombian stars James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao by securing a Porto move a year later at the expense of Zenit St. Petersburg.

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7. Compared to Luis Figo

And so impressive has Diaz been since moving to Europe that former Colombia, Real Madrid and Portugal boss Carlos Queiroz even compared the 25-year-old to Ballon d’Or winner Luis Figo.

8. Shared the Golden Boot at Copa America

With Messi not only winning the 2021 Copa America title, but generally dominating the tournament full stop, it’s easy to forget that he actually had to share the Golden Boot trophy with Diaz himself.

The Colombian star was the only player aside from Messi to register four goals, including a stunning bicycle kick against Brazil, that saw him outscore the likes of Lautaro Martínez and Neymar.

An inspiring journey

From battling malnutrition in one of Colombia’s toughest regions to earning Figo comparisons in the professional game, Diaz’s journey to the top just goes to show that dreams really can come true.

Hopefully a move to Liverpool is the next step in Diaz’s epic rise in the beautiful game because there’s no denying that Kopites will cheer his name for years upon years if he delivers the goods.

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