Luis Diaz’s father watched on as his son scored a brilliant double to fire Colombia to a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Brazil.
Luis Manuel Diaz was released on Tuesday having been kidnapped and held captive by the ELN guerrilla group. He was in the stands, alongside his wife, as his son netted two second-half headers on an emotional night in Barranquilla.
The 58-year-old sank into his seat in tears when the Liverpool forward scored his second as Colombia came from behind to win.
Diaz jnr said: “I thank God, he makes it all possible.
“We have lived some tough moments but life makes you strong and brave. That is soccer and that is life. We deserved this victory.”
Esta fue la mejor parte del partido, ver al papá de Luis Díaz celebrando los goles de su hijo. La libertad, la vida y la familia, no se cambian por nada.
Gracias a Dios, por este triunfo de la Selección Colombia y por los dos goles de nuestro Luis Díaz.
— Juan Nicolás Vizcaya (@JuanNicolasVizc) November 17, 2023
Diaz’s Colombia team-mate James Rodriguez said: “He has had a bad time over the past 15 days. The whole group is happy for him because we are a group of brothers.”
Next up for Colombia is an away game with Paraguay on Tuesday.
James added: “We have another game and we have to win. With the heat and the intensity it will be a war but we have a few days to recover.
“It won’t be easy but we have to go to fight for the three points”