Luis Diaz hugged his crying father on Tuesday as the pair were reunited for the first time since his 12-day kidnapping in Colombia.
The Liverpool striker, who flew back to his home country ahead of the November international break, arrived in the city of Barranquilla on Tuesday morning to reunite with his father Luis ‘Mane’ Diaz and his emotional family.
Diaz Snr and his wife Cilenis Marulanda, who was released shortly after the kidnapping, were taken off the streets of Colombia at gunpoint by four armed men on motorcycles on October 28.
The footballer’s father remained in custody for almost two weeks until he was released last Thursday after being captured by armed members of the left-wing guerrilla group Ejercito de Liberation Nacional (ELN).
Liverpool tweeted shortly after the photos were shared on social media, responding with a love heart emoji in support of their star, who missed clashes against Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth before returning to score a crucial equalizer at Luton on November 5.
Liverpool striker Luis Diaz (left) hugged his crying father (right) on Tuesday as the pair were reunited for the first time since he was kidnapped in Colombia for nearly two weeks
The Liverpool striker, who flew back to Colombia ahead of the November international break, arrived in the city of Barranquilla on Tuesday to meet his father Luis ‘Mane’ Diaz (centre)
Diaz Sr. struggled to hold back tears after seeing his son for the first time since the ordeal
The Colombian Football Federation shared images of the Liverpool star reuniting his family
In the images shared by the Colombian Football Federation, Diaz Jr. seen tearfully embracing his father as he reunites with friends and family.
Colombian police confirmed last week that they had arrested four members of a criminal group called Los Primos (The Cousins) and the first photos of the attackers have since been revealed.
The arrested men were locally named Andrys Alcides Bolivar Bolívar; Marlon Rafael Brito Bolivar; Brayan Javier Morales Sanjuan; and Yerdinson Bolivar Bolivar.
They are accused of kidnapping and theft, among other things. A court hearing will take place later today in the northern Colombian city of Riohacha.
Diaz Snr revealed he spoke to his son shortly after his release as he opened up about the harrowing ordeal last week.
He required physical assistance at the press conference after suffering an injured knee, reportedly requiring him to walk for a week straight because his captors feared being caught.
He broke down in tears during an emotional press conference after his release last week
Diaz Snr received medical care after being rescued after 12 harrowing days in captivity
Photos have since been released of the four men arrested for kidnapping Diaz’s father
“I ask my brothers from the mountains: let us put down our weapons, let us use the pen and the notebook, let us work so that Colombia is the country with the best peace,” he said in tears.
‘I thank Colombia for this great support. Soon I will have the opportunity to greet them and give them a hug. Thank you very much, my people.’
Diaz Jr., who remained in Liverpool during his father’s kidnapping, took to social media to call on people to join a march to demand his father’s safe release.
The Instagram post, made shortly after his mother’s release, invited the “entire community” and urged them to “bring your candle to light the light of hope,” with the photo of his father accompanied by a caption that read: ‘Free him now’.
Hundreds of people joined his mother and grandfather Alfonso the next day and took to the streets of Barrancas to call for an end to the kidnapping.
But Diaz senior remained in captivity for another ten days until he was released on November 9.
After being taken into the hands of a ‘Humanitarian Commission’, the first images of Diaz Snr appeared on Colombian television, showing the father wearing a cap, holding a drink and waving an arm in the air .
Diaz Jr, who plays for Liverpool and Colombia, pictured with his father before the kidnapping
Your browser does not support iframes.
Liverpool responded with a love heart emoji, happy that their star has been reunited with his father
“The Colombian Football Federation thanks the National Government, the Armed Forces and the National Police, as well as all the institutions and officials who made possible the release of Luís Manuel Díaz, the father of our player Luís Díaz,” said a statement from the Colombian Football Federation. FA read.
‘Football as a sporting discipline symbolizes talent, dedication, teamwork and the intrinsic values of man. In Colombia it must remain a benchmark for entertainment, healthy competition, unity and joy.
‘We therefore emphasize the need to preserve this activity, as well as those involved in it, in the sporting and administrative part and their families, outside of any scenario other than sport.’
Diaz Jr. will play for Colombia against Brazil on Friday before taking on Paraguay next week in November.