Luis Diaz starts for Liverpool and Klopp says striker 'really happy' after father freed

Toulouse's Moussa Diarra, background right, and Liverpool's Luis Diaz challenge for the ball during the Europa League Group E soccer match between Toulouse and Liverpool, at the Toulouse Stadium in Toulouse, France, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
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TOULOUSE, France (AP) — Luis Díaz started and played 81 minutes in Liverpool's 3-2 loss to Toulouse a few hours after his father was released by kidnappers in Colombia on Thursday.

Before the Europa League match, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said the Colombia striker was “really happy” with the news that his father was freed.

Luis Manuel Díaz was released by members of a guerrilla group who kidnapped him in northern Colombia, the government announced, ending a 12-day ordeal for the family.

“It looks like Lucho (Diaz) is really happy, (giving) thumbs up all the time,” Klopp told TNT Sports. ”Timing-wise it couldn’t have been better."

On Sunday, Díaz pleaded for his father ’s freedom after scoring in a Premier League match, revealing a T-shirt saying “Freedom for Papa” in Spanish.

Diogo Jota came on for Diaz and scored eight minutes later, but Liverpool's comeback fell short.

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AP soccer: apnews.com/hub/soccer