Diaz’s path to Liverpool is hell

Diaz’s path to Liverpool is hell

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26 May 2022
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Luis Diaz

The situation

“Luis Diaz is a player who is hungry for success and who knows that success is only possible through struggle.” Above is a quote from Jurgen Klopp. The Liverpool manager praised Diaz shortly after his transfer from Porto. The words of the German echoed eight thousand kilometers away, far from the British Isles of Columbia. Liverpool studied Diaz in advance. “We followed Louis for a long time,” Klopp confirmed. But The best of all the fighting character was studied by the coaches who caught the first football steps of the winger. Diaz got off to a great start at Liverpool. “Luis seems to have been playing for Klopp for several years,” said Carlos Paniagua, who coached the footballer with the Colombian youth team. More recently, such a rise of the winger seemed impossible. By the age of 18, Diaz approached without a professional contract.Luis grew up in Guajira, one of the least developed regions of Colombia, and belongs to the Wayu people, indigenous but poor.. The player had little chance of a sports contract. “Few people from Guajira break into professional sports. It is the origin that makes the careers of the locals special,” Panagua explains. “Díaz belongs to the indigenous people. Luis got into football thanks to the Atlético Junior club. Now represents the pride of the entire Colombian people.” Diaz showed himself to Atlético scouts in 2015, at one of the open shows. Junior is one of three top division teams located on the north coast of Colombia. The event for children was organized by the club in the city of Barranquilla, six hours from Luis Barrancas, his home town, on the border with Venezuela. Octavio Rivera, the former head of the Junior academy, says that about three thousand players came to the viewing. “Diaz didn’t stand out or grab anyone’s attention before watching.Luis’s story is the norm for Colombians who lack quality food and living conditions to develop on par with their peers”, explains the former employee of the club. Diaz impressed Juan Carlos Cantillo, one of Junior’s scouts. 

The details

“Different players of different generations and quality of play came to the viewing, but Juan Carlos singled out Diaz,” Rivera recalls. -Louis looked thin, but incredibly hardy, energetic, technical and fast”. The future Liverpool star also impressed Fernel Diaz, coach from the youth team of Atlético. “Louis was skinny and lost a lot of duels due to lack of strength. At the same time, he remained talented. Very talented,” says the coach. After watching, Diaz was taken to the Atlético youth team. The uncle drove the young winger to training. The help of relatives did not help immediately: Louis did not reveal himself in a new environment. “Diaz highlights modesty. Luis did not have enough money, but he always remained a dedicated, professional football player, Rivera recalls. – In my opinion, the reasons for it were in time – modesty, stamina and the ability to overcome difficulties. It’s just that at Atlético, Lucho remained a bit closed – at least until we ranked the best players in the academy.” Several junior academy coaches, including Rivera and Fernel Diaz, analyzed each player and ranked them in terms of potential.Diaz consistently held first place – bypassing 450 competitors.


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