Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp said preparation for Sunday’s 3-0 home win against Nottingham Forest had been “the most difficult I’ve ever had in my life”.
Reds forward Luis Diaz did not feature in the Premier League clash at Anfield after reports that his parents had been kidnapped in Colombia and Klopp said the player had returned home to be with family members.
Liverpool confirmed an “ongoing situation involving the family of Luis Diaz” earlier on Sunday and Colombia’s president said Diaz’s mother “has been rescued” but his father remains missing.
Klopp said: “The game preparation was the most difficult I’ve ever had in my life. I didn’t expect that, I wasn’t prepared for it.
“I don’t want to make the game bigger than it was, but definitely, we tried to help Luis with the fight we put in because obviously we want to help and we cannot really help.
“So the only thing we can do is fight for him and that’s what the boys did.”
Liverpool secured their fifth straight home Premier League win to move three points behind leaders Tottenham.
But Klopp said: “How can you make a football game really important on a day like this? It’s really difficult. I’ve never struggled with that in my life.
“We heard late last night about it. We spoke to Luis, he wanted to go home…Then we got the news with his mum, which is fantastic, and since then nothing really.
“We are obviously the first people to get involved and we try to have knowledge of everything as much as we can, but we don’t want to disturb in any way the important people there, we just want to support, that’s it.”
Liverpool said in a statement that they were supporting the player. It read: “Liverpool Football Club can confirm it is aware of an ongoing situation involving the family of Luis Diaz in Colombia.
“It is our fervent hope that the matter is resolved safely and at the earliest possible opportunity. In the meantime, the player’s welfare will continue to be our immediate priority.”
Colombia’s president Gustavo Petro said on X, formerly known as Twitter: “In an operation in Barrancas, Luis Diaz’s mother has been rescued, we continue the search for the father.”
The country’s football federation said in a statement that the kidnapping was regrettable and urged authorities to rescue Diaz’s father.
“The Colombian Football Federation rejects the security situation that the parents of our player Luis Díaz are going through,” they said.
“From the FCF we express our solidarity with him and his entire family and we call for the relevant authorities to act as quickly as possible to resolve the situation.”
Liverpool signed Diaz from Porto in January 2022 in an initial £37.5million deal that included a potential extra £12.5million in add-ons.
The 26-year-old winger has made 11 appearances this season and scored three goals.
Diaz was an unused substitute for Thursday’s 5-1 Europa League win against Toulouse after starting the Premier League victory over Everton last weekend.
He was not in the 18-strong squad that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp named for Forest’s Premier League visit to Anfield.