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Luis Díaz: From playing the indigenous Copa América to playing his first Champions League final

One of his childhood adventures was to imitate the great Ronaldinho, but now louis diaz forge your own story in the glorious pages of football. Without forgetting, of course, the skills that he learned from his Brazilian idol when he was a child, the Colombian has known how to ‘haggle’ all this time over the various obstacles that stood in his way. He now he is headed on a triumphal path with the Liverpoolby inscribing his name at the end of the Champions League with a goal of his in El Madrigal (2-2) against Villlarreal, a feat that very few of his compatriots can boast of. And this is just the beginning for him.

‘Luchito’ was born in a small rural settlement in La Guajira in 1997. He belonged to an indigenous family of the Wayúu people and it was there that he took his first steps with the ball, playing for the local team that was directed by his father Luis Manuel .

The extreme poverty in which he grew up did not prevent his talent from later being recognized at the highest level of Colombian football, although it was obviously quite a difficult mission. He had to overcome countless obstacles to get to where he is today.

The doors of success were opened to louis diaz When I was 18. He traveled to Bogotá with some of his teammates to show what he was made of to ‘Pibe’ Valderrama, who quickly fell in love with the enormous ability of the skinny footballer and did not hesitate to select him to represent Colombia in the America’s Cup of Indigenous Peoples 2015 in Chile.

‘Luchito’ took advantage of his opportunity: he played all the matches in the tournament, scored two goals and wore the captain’s ribbon in that Colombian indigenous team, which reached the final, but lost it to Paraguay. The runner-up of the ‘coffee growers’ had Díaz as the great protagonist, so Valderrama did not allow that talent to be lost.

The ‘Pibe’ recommended Díaz to Junior de Barranquilla, who finally decided to open the doors of the subsidiary for him: Barranquilla F.C.. In that team he began his professional adventure and no one could stop him, because his career was on the rise. Non stop.

Playing with Barranquilla FC, he was called up for the Colombian under-20 team, having played five games in the 2017 Sudamericano of the category. Later, he continued his career at Junior, where his progression was continuous.

Due to his great performances with ‘Tiburón’, a club with which he won four titles, the senior team of his country began to summon him little by little. He began to appear in friendly matches in 2018, but his big break came from the Qatar 2022 Qualifiers and the 2021 Copa América.

louis diaz He established himself as a ‘coffee growers’ winger from the start of the Qualifiers, being fundamental in the attack. He scored one of the three goals suffered by Peru in the qualifying match against Colombia in Lima. And the national team suffered it again in the match for third place in the Copa América, a competition where ‘Luchito’ shone.

A double by the Colombian winger, who was chosen as “the revelation of the tournament”, left the ‘Blanquirroja’ off the podium, after thus ruling the match 3-2 in favor of her team. With these goals, in addition, he became the tournament’s top scorer (four goals) along with Lionel Messi.

And it is important not to forget the great goal he scored against Brazil in the group stage with a wonderful scissors, which was nominated for the FIFA Puskas award. “The day he scored the goal against Brazil in the Copa América, he called me and told me: “Do you remember, dad? I told you that he scored a goal against Brazil as a Chilean. I did it”told his father in an interview with the media SEMANA.COM.

Days after standing out in the South American tournament, the Colombian winger traveled to his native Guajira and took the opportunity to play a special ‘pichanga’ with his team. Although he was already used to the good conditions of the grass at the highest professional level, he did not hesitate to get his feet dirty again on the clay court, as in his childhood and adolescence. His humility is not negotiable. And he has made it clear.

Luis Díaz has already fulfilled some dreams and continues to dream big, although he has also experienced some unhappiness with his national team recently. Not qualifying for the Qatar 2022 World Cup has represented a hard blow for ‘Luchito’ and his entire nation, but in the following Qualifiers he will seek to take revenge on him to bring joy back to Colombians.

european crossing

In the midst of these episodes with Colombia, louis diaz a special path was opened in Europe. Thanks to his enormous ability with the ball, the peasant signed for Porto in July 2019 and, from then on, his name began to be heard all over the world. He was already in the orbit of the big leagues of the ‘Old Continent’ and he had no choice but to exhibit his talent.

With Porto he won three titles: the Primeira Liga, the Portuguese Cup and the Portuguese Super Cup. In addition, with that club he began his journey in the Champions League, the highest competition at club level, where he found a great opportunity to show that he is made to measure for the greats.

In this 2021/22 season, Porto had to face Liverpool in the group stage and, although they lost both games of the round, louis diaz He took all the attention from Jürgen Klopp after his great performances on the pitch. The Colombian was a real danger for those at Anfield and that convinced the German coach that he should have him on his team as soon as possible. So it was.

In January of this year, the ‘Reds’ disbursed €45 million to have the services of the coffee region for five years. This operation has been a complete success. ‘Luchito’ has known how to respond what is worth and more on the field, helping Klopp’s forward to be much more lethal than it already was.

Although he has only scored four goals and given three assists in 21 official games for Liverpool so far, Luis Díaz has been a constant determinant in the team’s offense. His performance is quite good and Klopp is amazed at the great ability of his star signing. In fact, the peasant does not tire of receiving praise from locals and strangers.

Now, the ‘Reds’ have once again reached the Champions League final and ‘Luchito’ has become the fifth Colombian to reach the definition of the title of this competition. Before, only Iván Córdoba, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, James Rodríguez and Dávinson Sánchez had achieved it.

VILLARREAL (CASTELLÓN), 05/03/2022.- Liverpoll striker Luis Díaz (d) plays a ball against Juan Foyth, from Villarreal, during the second leg of the Champions League semifinals that they play today Tuesday at the Ceramic Stadium.  EFE/Domenech Castelló

Of that list, only Cuadrado was able to play the final that he lost to Juventus in the 2016/17 edition, coming on in the second half and being sent off 11 minutes later. The others mentioned did not accumulate any seconds on the court, but James and Córdoba celebrated with the ‘Orejona’ along with their teammates.

Now is the great opportunity to louis diaz. Although he did not start as a starter in Spain against Villarreal, ‘Luchito’ is a great option for Klopp at the start of the final against Real Madrid or Manchester City. And it is that his admission in the second half in the Madrigal was conducive to the epic comeback of the ‘Reds’. In fact, he converted his goal and became the second Colombian player to score in a Champions League semi-final after James (with Bayern Munich in 2018), according to MisterChip data.

At the moment, ‘Lucho’ is already making history at 25 years old. He will not play the World Cup, but he will play his first Champions League final, a privilege that few can achieve. He, with the humility that personifies him, will seek to play his best role, have fun as he did as a child in Guajira, and continue fighting for glory. Success, meanwhile, will continue to come on his account.

Source: Elcomercio

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