Luis Diaz's father thanks God as he celebrates his 55th birthday with his family in England – less than a month after being rescued from ELN kidnappers in Colombia
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Luis Diaz's father thanks God as he celebrates his 55th birthday with his family in England – less than a month after being rescued from ELN kidnappers in Colombia

Dec 26, 2023

Liverpool star Luis Diaz‘s father has posted an emotional message of thanks as he celebrates his birthday with gamily members, less than a month after being rescued from kidnappers in his native Colombia

Luis Manuel Diaz spent 12 days being held hostage by guerrilla terrorist group ELN after being taken in his hometown at gunpoint at the end of October, before being rescued in November. 

The heartening news came just hours before Liverpool were due to take on Toulouse in the Europa League – a game which his son played in, only to lose 3-2 in dramatic circumstances. 

Mane, as he is known, has since been seen at Liverpool games cheering on his son, and was in attendance for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City

The 55-year-old put out an emotive post on Instagram on Monday to mark his birthday, thanking God for ‘allowing’ him to celebrate another year in the company of his loved ones.  

Luis Diaz poses with his father on his 55th birthday

Diaz Snr celebrated his special day with his family

Luis Diaz poses with his father as he celebrated his 55th birthday with his family earlier this week

The Liverpool star has returned to regular action for the Reds since his father's release

The Liverpool star has returned to regular action for the Reds since his father’s release

Diaz Snr was kept as a hostage for 12 days after being kidnapped at gunpoint in his hometown

Diaz Snr was kept as a hostage for 12 days after being kidnapped at gunpoint in his hometown

‘I want to thank God for allowing me to celebrate another year of life, my family, my wife, my children, my daughter-in-law for making me spend this beautiful day,’ Diaz Snr wrote on Instagram. 

‘God bless you, I always love you with all my heart.’

Along with the message, Diaz Snr posted a number of photos celebrating his special day alongside his family, the Liverpool forward included. 

Diaz’s brother, Jesus, is also a professional footballer, on the books at Porto, where the 26-year-old left to join the Reds last year.  

He was seized at gunpoint along with his wife and the government soon blamed Colombia’s last remaining rebel group, the National Liberation Army. Diaz’s mother, Cilenis Marulanda, was left behind in a car. 

Friends and family gathered in his neighbourhood to greet him upon his return on November 9, with Diaz thanking God for ‘a second chance’ after driving back home.

‘I thank Colombia for this great support’, he added. ‘Very soon I will have the opportunity to greet them and give them a hug. Thank you very much, my people.’

Colombian authorities have suggested the blame for the kidnapping might lie at the feet of gang Los Primos, who are accused of having carried out the kidnap and handing Diaz Snr over to a regional unit of the ELN. 

On his release from captivity 'Mane' thanked God for a 'second chance' following his ordeal

On his release from captivity ‘Mane’ thanked God for a ‘second chance’ following his ordeal

Diaz Snr received medical care on the mountainside after a helicopter set off to rescue him

Diaz Snr received medical care on the mountainside after a helicopter set off to rescue him

This is the first image of Luis Manuel Diaz (pictured, centre), the father of Liverpool attacker Luis Diaz, after he was rescued following his kidnapping back on October 28

This is the first image of Luis Manuel Diaz (pictured, centre), the father of Liverpool attacker Luis Diaz, after he was rescued following his kidnapping back on October 28

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