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Luis Diaz Double Fires Colombia Over Brazil After Kidnap Drama

Luis Diaz scored a fairytale second-half double to fire Colombia to a 2-1 upset over Brazil on Thursday, capping a roller coaster month that saw his father kidnapped by guerrillas for 12 days. Amid incredible scenes at Barranquilla’s Estadio Metropolitano, Liverpool forward Diaz headed home in the 75th and 79th minutes as Colombia claimed a vital win in their bid to qualify for the 2026 World Cup. Diaz’s goals cancelled out Brazil’s opener from Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli. A bad night for Brazil was compounded by an injury to Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr, who exited with a thigh injury after 27 minutes.

Diaz’s match-winning brace left his father Luis Manuel Diaz — watching in the stands wearing a Colombia shirt — overcome with emotion.

Diaz had only been reunited with his father on Tuesday after his parent was freed last week after being held by Colombia’s ELN guerrilla group for 12 days.

Diaz said after Thursday’s win he had experienced “hard moments” after learning of his father’s kidnapping.

“But life makes you strong and brave and I think that’s football, and not just football but life,” said Diaz, dedicating his performance to Colombian compatriots.

“I’m grateful to my team-mates, to the coaching staff who were always there for me at every moment. And I dedicate the victory to the people, who deserved it.”

The Premier League star’s father and his wife Cilenis Marulanda had been abducted by armed men on motorcycles on October 28.

Marulanda was rescued several hours after the abduction as a massive search operation by ground and air was launched for her husband.

Diaz Sr was eventually released by the rebels last week after being handed over to humanitarian workers.

The 56-year-old was instrumental in helping his son forge a successful football career at club and international level.

He was the founder and amateur coach of the only football academy in Barrancas, where his son showed promise from a very young age.

Diaz Sr is credited with aiding the meteoric rise of his son, who has played for his country 43 times and is the first Indigenous Colombian to make it to world football’s top echelons.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Bernard Greenhall
Bernard Greenhall

Bernard is a sports and physical education expert with years of experience. He's passionate about promoting health and wellness through physical activity, and he's worked with athletes and non-athletes alike to help them achieve their fitness goals. Bernard holds a degree in Physical Education and is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and research in his field.

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