Luis Diaz embraced his crying father on Tuesday as the pair were reunited for the first time since his 12-day kidnapping in Colombia.
The Liverpool forward, who flew back to his homeland ahead of the November international break, arrived in the city of Barranquilla on Tuesday morning to reunite with his father Luis ‘Mane’ Diaz and emotional family.
Diaz Snr and his wife Cilenis Marulanda, who was freed shortly after the kidnapping, were snatched off the streets of Colombia at gunpoint by four armed men on motorcycles on October 28.
The footballer’s father remained in captivity for almost two weeks until he was freed last Thursday, having been taken by armed members of the left-wing guerrilla group Ejercito de Liberation Nacional (ELN).
Liverpool tweeted shortly after the pictures 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 net a crucial equaliser at Luton on November 5.
Liverpool forward Luis Diaz (left) embraced his crying father (right) on Tuesday as the pair were reunited for the first time since he was kidnapped for almost two weeks in Colombia
The Liverpool forward, who flew back to Colombia ahead of the November international break, arrived in the city of Barranquilla on Tuesday to meet with his father Luis ‘Mane’ Diaz (centre)
Diaz Snr struggled to hold back the 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 is seen tearfully embracing his father while reuniting with friends and family.
Colombian police confirmed last week that they have arrested four members of a criminal group called Los Primos (The Cousins), and the first pictures of the assailants have since been revealed.
The arrested men were named locally as Andrys Alcides Bolivar Bolívar; Marlon Rafael Brito Bolivar; Brayan Javier Morales Sanjuan; and Yerdinson Bolivar Bolivar.
They face charges including kidnap and theft, with a court hearing due to take place later today in the northern Colombian city of Riohacha.
Diaz Snr revealed he had spoken with his son shortly after his release, as he opened up on the harrowing ordeal last week.
He needed physical assistance at the press conference after suffering an injured knee, reportedly being forced to walk for a week straight as his captors feared being caught.
He broke down in tears during an emotional press conference following his release last week
Diaz Snr received medical care after being rescued following 12 harrowing days in captivity
Pictures have since been released of the four men arrested over the abduction of Diaz’s father
‘I ask my brothers from the mountains, let’s put down our weapons, let’s use the pen and the notebook, let’s work to make it Colombia is the country that has the best peace,’ he said tearfully.
‘I thank Colombia for this great support. Very soon I will have the opportunity to greet them and give them a hug. Thank you very much, my people.’
Diaz Jr, who remained at Liverpool throughout his father’s abduction, took to social media to urge people to join a march to demand the safe release of his father.
The Instagram post, which was posted shortly after his mother’s release, invited the ‘whole community’ and urged them to ‘bring your candle to light the light of hope’, with the picture of his father accompanied by a caption which read: ‘Free him now’.
Hundreds of people joined his mother and grandfather Alfonso the following day, taking to the streets of Barrancas to call for an end to the kidnapping.
But Diaz Snr remained in captivity for 10 more days until his release on November 9.
After he was taken into the hands of a ‘Humanitarian Commission’, the first images of Diaz Snr were released on Colombian television showing the father, wearing a cap and holding a drink, waving an arm in the air.
Diaz Jr, who plays for Liverpool and Colombia, pictured with his father before the kidnapping
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Liverpool reacted with a love heart emoji, delighted their star has been reunited with his father
‘The Colombian Football Federation thanks the National Government, the Military Forces and the National Police, as well as all the institutions and officials that made the release of Luís Manuel Díaz, father of our player Luís Díaz, possible,’ a statement from the Colombia FA read.
‘Football as a sporting discipline symbolizes talent, dedication, teamwork and the intrinsic values of human beings. In Colombia it must continue to be a benchmark for entertainment, healthy competition, unity and joy.
‘Therefore, we insist on the need to maintain this activity, as well as those who are involved in it, in the sporting and administrative part and their families, outside of any scenario other than sports.’
Diaz Jr is set to feature for Colombia against Brazil on Friday before taking on Paraguay in November of next week.
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