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After having made FC Porto happy for more than two years, 25-year-old Luis Díaz has taken a step forward this winter by signing for Liverpool, with whom he is preparing to face Inter Milan on Wednesday. Almost three years after leaving Colombia, El Fideo is experiencing a new stage in an adventure that began in one of the regions most affected by the humanitarian crisis. Return to the delusional trajectory of a death by starvation.


"Everyone can cook. This is how star-starred chef Gusteau convinced Rémy to leave the sewers of the capital to flourish in his idol's restaurant. Far from the wineries and gastronomic reserves of Ratatouille, the story of Luis Díaz without a doubt It could be added to the box office gratin in turn if a director decided to capture it in images.

The parallelism with a Disney movie is not absurd since the trajectory of the new Liverpool player is surreal. Hit hard by malnutrition at birth, the gully knew how to find a way to climb the Colombian soccer ladder in one of the regions of the world hardest hit by the humanitarian crisis: La Guajira.

And one more proof that a round ball can definitely save lives “The government is sending bags with the equivalent of twenty days of food to the most affected families. But it is only for children. And often the parents burrow into the pouches to feed themselves.

Finally, there is nothing left in the bag after eight days. » César Arismendi, member of FUCAI Hunger justifies the means “ Luis Díaz comes from an extremely precarious family, which had to fight every day to survive. If all went well, they had two meals a day. In this region it is something normal”, testifies John “Pocillo” Díaz, one of the very first coaches of the red side. La Guajira is located in the north of Colombia, on the border with Venezuela, and is a territory of the Wayuu community, but also one of the most abandoned areas by the Colombian government.

The proof is: between 2008 and 2016, 4,770 children lost their lives there. Many non-governmental organizations have been fighting for more than ten years on the ground and are trying to find solutions to combat these deadly shortcomings. Among them, FUNCAI, Fundación Caminos de Identidad, is the closest to vulnerable populations. "This region and its towns are in great danger with each passing day. Due to the great drought and the impossibility of producing anything, La Guajira is seriously affected by the food crisis," deciphers César Arismendi, a member of the NGO. 

Without water, rain and food, the Wayuu seek at all costs to survive in the arid desert and extreme poverty. It was in Barrancas, the seventh most populous city in La Guajira, where Luis Díaz was born. Born to a Wayuu father and mother, the Colombian international (33 caps) quickly found himself caught up in reality. “Among these 5,000 dead children, there is not only malnutrition. There is also infant mortality, children who die before birth, others who are greatly affected by flu-like illnesses, infections caused by animals... ”, adds César. Despite losing a few kilos, Luis Díaz is one of the lucky ones who grew up in a house, not far from the deserts, "where the situation is catastrophic," says the member of FUNCAI, before assuring that State aid for the city the inhabitants are far from enough:

"The Colombian government is sending bags with the equivalent of twenty days worth of food to the most affected families, except that it is only intended for children. So parents often dig into the bags to feed themselves. Finally, there is nothing left in the stock market after eight days. » eliz año de los fideos It is in this chaotic context that Luis Díaz ends up coming across soccer right in front of his house. César Arismendi explains: “The Wayuu have a strong attraction to soccer, They easily practice this sport by assembling rags to form a ball and placing stones to mark the goals. All this, barefoot. "Luis's father trained him quickly," continues John "Pocillo" Díaz. Every day, he taught him technical things and mental. His father is a big soccer fan and even runs a soccer school in Barrancas, which he himself created 25 years ago. "His personal goal? Make your son the best player in the school and introduce him to the recruiters of one of the largest clubs in the region: Barranquilla FC, located 330 kilometers from the family home. 

“As soon as we saw him play, the magic appeared. But there was a problem: it was a noodle. » Fernel Díaz, deputy director of the Barranquilla FC training center That day comes in January 2015. The rest is told by Fernel Díaz, coordinator and deputy director of the training center for the Colombian second division team: “Luis came to recognition with his father and other players from his club. As soon as we saw him play, magic appeared. But there was a problem: it was a "noodle". Normally the players go home after a day of testing. He stayed for twenty days, until we decided to keep him and he joined our academy. “Happy to see his son approach the professional world, Luis Díaz's father pulls his face when he finds out that his jewel will miss playing time in Barranquilla. “Among the youth we had two categories: Sub 17 and Sub 20, explains Fernel Díaz. He still lacked certain skills to be with the Under 20s, but he had to have playing time, so we created a tournament with the Under 18s of the region, almost for him, but it only lasted a few months. Another solution was found: with the agreement of his club, the young Wayuu, then 18 years old, decided to embark on an adventure with the Colombian indigenous team.