This article dives into a detailed Biography of Luis Diaz, explaining the chronicles of his childhood, early life, and family – spotlighting his mother, Silenis Marulanda, his father, Luis Manuel Díaz, and the roots from which he emerged.
Furthermore, we’ll touch upon the lives of Luis Diaz’s siblings (Roger David anmd Jesús Manuel), the woman behind his success, his wife (Gena Ponce), and his personal escapades.
In essence, we’re chronicling the complete life history of Luis Diaz. We aim to narrate the remarkable journey of a young boy who, despite being malnourished, rose to become a Colombian football sensation, a beacon of hope born from a backdrop of dire poverty.
Our rendition of Luis Diaz’s story captures the tales of a young lad who faced dismissal in the football world because of his slender frame. Yet, his agility and knack for incredible ball tricks made him a favourite, winning over even his staunchest critics.
SoccerBiography presents the narrative of a young talent who brought national recognition to his ethnic group, the Wayuu family, after years of obscurity. Embracing the opportunity presented by Colombian football authorities, Luis Diaz pivoted his family’s fate, pulling them out of destitution.
Earning the title of the best player in his village, Luis Diaz was selected to represent his community in an international football tournament in Chile. This competition, reserved for the indigenous inhabitants of various South American regions, saw Diaz seizing his moment, hinting at the football legend he would become.
Our version of Luis Diaz’s life journey kicks off by revisiting the episodes of his early days. Progressing, we’ll detail the steps he took in pursuit of his football dreams, culminating in the accolades he’s garnered in the sport.
To give you a glimpse of the captivating tale that lies ahead, this article offers the chronicle of his evolution, from his innocent childhood days to his rise as a football giant.
It’s undeniable that Luis Diaz, sharing the limelight with Lionel Messi, emerged as a joint top scorer in the 2021 Copa América tournament. He epitomizes the contemporary footballer, excelling in agility, strength, offensive prowess, dexterity, and tenacity.
Although many recognize his feats, few fans are acquainted with the comprehensive biography of Luis Diaz. SoccerBiography has taken the mantle to narrate his life story. Let’s dive into Diaz’s formative years.
The Early Days of Luis Diaz:
Commonly known as “Luchito,” Luis Fernando Díaz Marulanda graced this world on January 13, 1997. His birth was a joy to his parents, Silenis Marulanda and Luis Manuel Díaz, in the town of Barrancas, La Guajira, Colombia.
Proudly Colombian, Luis emerged as the eldest child in his family. He grew up alongside his brothers, born from the union of his parents. Here’s a glimpse of the couple who gave us the football prodigy, Luis Diaz.
In the heart of Barrancas, near a mining vicinity, young Luis Díaz spent the days of his youth. A typical meal in the Díaz household was goat meat. Without a television in their home, Luis would eagerly listen to stories shared by his grandparents as dusk settled.
Growing up in Barrancas was a shared experience with his younger siblings, Roger David Diaz, fondly called Roller, and Jësüs Manuel Dïäż. Interestingly, both Diaz siblings, with a three-year age gap between them, ventured into professional football.
Barrancas, like many other parts of Colombia, is often overshadowed by its challenges. It’s a place where governmental neglect is palpable, and where many families grapple with the consequences, notably malnutrition.
Observing the above image, it’s clear that young Luis was not immune to these challenges. Yet, for Luis and many others, football emerged as a beacon of hope, a potential pathway out of dire circumstances.
Luis Diaz’s Football Beginnings:
For young Luis, childhood was a blend of football dreams and vibrant fantasies. Captivated by Ronaldinho’s playstyle, he’d emulate the Brazilian maestro’s moves on local playing fields, dreaming he was the legendary number 10 himself.
Post every Ronaldinho match, Luis would recreate the star’s moves, practicing tirelessly on the dusty ground near his family home in the Los Cerezos neighborhood of Barrancas. If a trick or move eluded him, he’d persistently practice until he mastered it, only resting once he felt he had replicated Ronaldinho to perfection.
Background of the Diaz Family:
In the Diaz household, where he was affectionately known as Luifer, football was the lifeblood. His father, a staunch disciplinarian yet with a heart full of love, was deeply entrenched in the world of football. Known by many as Mane, Luis Manuel Díaz was not just a father, but also a mentor.
Owning a football academy called ‘Club Baller de Barrancas,’ Luis’s father continues to nurture young talent. Presently, it’s estimated that Club Baller is a training ground for around 130 children, aged between 5 and 15.
Much like Aurelien Tchouameni‘s father, facing the aftermath of an unrealized football career was tough for Mr. Manuel. Determined to bring out the latent talent in young footballers, he hoped that at least one of his sons would realize the family’s football aspirations.
This determined father trained his sons on the same grounds where they first fell in love with the sport. And, owing to the unique blend of discipline and affection from his father, Luis evolved into the grounded, honest, and disciplined individual fans adore today.
Origins of the Diaz Family:
In the rugged desert terrains of Colombia is the town of Barrancas, home to the Wayuu ethnic group. Close to the Caribbean Sea, Barrancas is deeply rooted in the ancestry of Luis Diaz’s family.
Life in Barrancas was defined by two overarching realities. The unforgiving desert climate and the proximity to Colombia’s most extensive coal mine cast a shadow on their daily lives.
The Cerrejón mine, the most expansive open-pit coal mine in Latin America, disrupted the tranquility of their mornings with constant pounding sounds, merely hundreds of meters from the Diaz residence.
The repercussions of the Cerrejón mine were severe, most notably its draining effect on the Ranchería River, a lifeline for Barrancas’ residents, including Diaz’s family.
The frequent sights and sounds of coal trucks and mine blasts posed daily distractions, making it especially challenging to concentrate on activities like football.
Scarcity of water was a constant issue, especially for an active young boy like Luis, who needed hydration to fuel his passion for football under the scorching La Guajira sun.
Academic and Career Journey:
Luis’s football journey began at his father’s academy, Club Baller de Barrancas, where he was notably the star pupil. However, his commitment to the sport initially met resistance from his mother.
Diaz’s father, ‘Mane’, once recollected the disagreements with his wife, Silenis Marulanda, who originally didn’t wish for their children to pursue football. Yet, as time went on, she became one of Luis’s most significant supporters.
Ensuring a balance between football and formal education was crucial for both parents. Beyond football training, Luis also pursued elementary education, largely due to the insistence of his mother, Silenis. She had set a clear mandate: No graduation, no football. This nudged Luis to put effort into his academics, even when it felt challenging.
By eleven, when asked about his aspirations, Luis’s answer was unequivocal: “Only Football.”
Luis Diaz – A Football Odyssey:
Despite being the star of his father’s academy, preferential treatment was avoided to prevent allegations of favouritism. Instead, Luis found mentorship under Rober Fernández Brito, a family friend and neighbour.
Rober fondly remembered Luis’s enthusiasm for replicating Ronaldinho’s flair on the field, remarking on the young talent’s ability to astound everyone with his precision and skill.
Diaz’s mastery of football techniques, especially emulating Ronaldinho’s style, set him apart. He was a regular highlight in Barrancas’ local tournaments, clinching titles and accolades.
He recognized that mere talent wasn’t sufficient; he had to push his limits continuously. Diaz relished challenges, especially those where he’d weave past opponents to score, showcasing the flair of a seasoned professional.
Journey to Stardom: Luis Diaz
During his teenage years, Luis Diaz had the opportunity to participate in a selection trial comprising 22 promising footballers. The chosen few would represent the indigenous Colombian national team in a renowned South American competition.
Owing to his Wayuu lineage, Diaz received an invitation to these trials, having already made a name for himself among his community’s talented players.
When John Jairo Díaz, a coach from Bogota, laid eyes on Luis, he noticed how frail and gaunt the young player appeared. It soon became clear that Luis was battling malnutrition, a prevalent issue among the Wayuu community to which he belonged.
Many at the trials wrongly speculated that his thin frame was due to illness or lack of adequate nourishment, reminiscent of early challenges faced by players like Raphinha and Riyad Mahrez.
It didn’t take long for Diaz to make an impact. With just a few touches and dribbles, he commanded attention, leading coaches Pibe Valderrama and John Jairo “Pocillo” Díaz to immediately recognize his potential.
Throughout the competition, Diaz stood out as an unmatched talent, showcasing speed, efficiency, and skill. His exceptional performances in Chile elevated him to a national sensation.
Off the field, Diaz, like was known for his cheerful demeanour and dedication. He adhered to his coach’s guidance and remained humble despite his growing fame.
A notable anecdote involves coach John Jairo having to ask Diaz to lower the volume of Martín Elías songs that he loved and often sang along to, showcasing Diaz’s obedient nature.
Endorsement from a Football Icon:
Colombian football icon, Pibe Valderrama, who had accompanied the indigenous squad, recognized Diaz’s talent.
He personally recommended the young star to Arturo Char Chaljub, the owner of Barranquilla FC, saying, “Give him a shot; that lean lad has exceptional skills.”
By 18, although Diaz was leaner than most his age, Barranquilla FC welcomed him, thanks to Valderrama’s endorsement. It wasn’t long before Diaz justified this faith with a standout performance at the trials.
The Path to Physical Strength:
After joining Barranquilla FC, the club advised Diaz to bulk up, suggesting a gain of 10 kilos. With the unwavering support of his parents, especially his mother, Diaz embarked on a nutrition regime worthy of elite athletes.
A special diet of pasta and meat became his staple, with goat meat, easily sourced due to the family’s goat-rearing background, being a primary component. Reports suggest Diaz consumed three goat-based meals daily, aiding his weight gain goal.
Additionally, his parents ensured a regular intake of multivitamins to promote muscle growth. Achieving the additional 10 kilos, Diaz not only became stronger but also radiated newfound confidence.
Transitioning from Barranquilla FC’s U20 team to the senior squad, Diaz’s debut was marked by a goal against Cúcuta Deportivo. After a series of commendable performances, it wasn’t long before scouts from prestigious football academies took note of his prowess.
Luis Diaz: Ascending to Greater Heights
After his remarkable stint at Barranquilla FC, Luis Diaz caught the attention of Atlético Junior, finalizing his move to the team in 2016. With Julio Comesaña at the helm, Diaz seamlessly integrated into the Atlético lineup, a top-tier team in Colombia’s premier division.
His impact was evident. Diaz played a pivotal role in leading Atlético Junior to some of their most noteworthy achievements in recent times. His tenure saw the club clinching the Copa Colombia, bagging two Categoría Primera A championships, and lifting the esteemed Superliga Colombian trophy.
Journey to FC Porto:
Numerous European clubs had Diaz on their radar, but FC Porto, renowned for their penchant for South American talents, emerged victorious in securing his signature. Over the years, the Portuguese powerhouse has scouted and nurtured players like James Rodríguez, Radamel Falcao, and Éder Militāo.
An interesting tidbit is that Zenit Saint Petersburg, boasting stars such as Hulk, Dejan Lovren, Andrey Arshavin, and Aleksandr Kokorin, were on the brink of signing Diaz. However, Diaz’s compatriot legends, Radamel Falcao and James Rodríguez, counselled him on the potential of Porto.
On July 10, 2019, Diaz took the bold step of leaving his homeland to ink a deal with FC Porto. This acquisition came in the wake of transfers like Ricardo Pereira’s move to Leicester City, Diogo Dalot’s transition to Manchester United, and Eder Militao’s significant transfer to Real Madrid.
However, Diaz wasn’t the lone newcomer to Porto. He was accompanied by football heavyweights like Sérgio Oliveira and Fábio Silva.
Forming a synergistic alliance with talents such as Vitinha, Otavio Monteiro, and Alex Telles, Diaz soon became the linchpin for FC Porto, leading their frontlines with distinction.
The Colombian Sensation’s Rise:
Following the 2018 World Cup, Díaz received the anticipated call to join the Colombian senior team on 27 August 2018.
The nation saw in him a torchbearer who could potentially step into the shoes of Juan Cuadrado. Since that moment, Diaz swiftly became a cornerstone for Colombia.
His shining moment in the national colours came during the 2021 Copa América. On 23 June 2022, Díaz showcased his brilliance with an aerial stunner against Rodrygo‘s Brazilian team.
Subsequently, he found the net against heavyweights Argentina and then followed up with a double against Peru.
When the dust settled on the 2021 Copa América, Díaz was crowned the top scorer, sharing this honour with the iconic Lionel Messi. Fans vividly remember his exploits, especially the jaw-dropping goal against Brazil.
The Anfield Journey Begins:
While at FC Porto, Díaz’s performances skyrocketed his market value, turning him into one of the most sought-after talents. Premier League giants, including Rafa Benitez’s Everton and Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, lined up for his signature.
However, Liverpool, with recent acquisitions like Diogo Jota and Ibrahima Konate, were keen to refresh their squad further. The Merseyside club’s interest in Díaz peaked in the 2022 January transfer window, with many attributing it to his stellar displays.
On 30 January 2022, the transfer saga concluded when BBC Sport unveiled Liverpool’s capture of the Colombian sensation. Jurgen Klopp has voiced his optimism about what Díaz can bring to the Anfield side.
For FC Porto supporters, Díaz’s departure left a nostalgic void. Meanwhile, the Liverpool faithful anticipate a force reminiscent of Carlos Tevez, believing Díaz could etch his name among Anfield legends.
Living in the Limelight with Gera Ponce:
There’s no shortage of notable Football WAGs – the girlfriends and wives who’ve stood by their athletic partners through thick and thin. Some of these relationships stand out, illustrating unwavering support even before fame struck.
The life story of Luis Diaz speaks to such devotion. It chronicles the journey of a young woman who chose to be by his side during his humble beginnings.
At a time when his lean appearance might not have caught the attention of many, Gera Ponce saw something more in Luis. Her genuine affection for him was evident even during his most challenging times.
A snapshot once captured a tender moment. Gera’s words say it all and it reveals:
“You’re my everything, my Skinny.”
Luis Diaz and Gera Ponce’s relationship serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration. Gera isn’t merely a stunning presence but embodies a compassionate spirit. From their initial meeting, it was evident that she was all in. She offered her unwavering support, celebrated his metamorphosis from lean to strong, and always had his back.
To this day, Gera’s selflessness shines through. She’s the anchor in Luis Diaz’s life, accompanying him on his football journey, often sidelining her own aspirations to ensure he has the emotional and professional backing he needs.
Because of her steadfast support, Luis Diaz attributes a significant part of his success to Gera.
Celebrating New Beginnings:
There’s an unparalleled joy that comes with the news of expecting a child. For Gera and Luis, this momentous occasion called for a unique celebration.
Luis Diaz and Gera Ponce’s Joyous Arrival:
As of the date of this narrative, the pair celebrated the arrival of their firstborn. On November 4th, 2021, Gera Ponce brought their daughter into the world. That moment was one Luis had eagerly anticipated – holding his child for the very first time.
A Glimpse into Luis Diaz’s Off-Pitch Life:
While most recognize him as the shining star of the Colombian national football team, not many are privy to the personal facets of Luis Diaz’s life. This portion of his story offers a peek into his passions and preferences away from the game.
Details about Luis Diaz’s preferred delicacies were shared when his aunt, Aracelis Díaz, spoke to the media. She revealed that Luis has a particular fondness for coconut rice paired with fried red snapper, complemented by fried plantains, and washed down with a blend of passion fruit and blackberry juice.
Should you ever find yourself at Luis Diaz’s residence, be it in Liverpool or Colombia, there’s a high chance you’d be treated to his beloved tunes, and perhaps even witness him grooving to them.
And for Luis, football isn’t restricted to the stadium. Within the confines of his living room, he’s often seen showcasing his soccer skills. Luis enjoys a casual game indoors, displaying a remarkable level of finesse even in such informal settings.
Luis Diaz’s Getaway in Portugal:
During his tenure in Portugal’s football scene, Luis Diaz and Gera, his soon-to-be wife, found solace in a particular locale: the Oporto Buggy Adventure located in Baltar, Portugal.
Navigating the scenic terrains in their quad, amidst the earthy trails, is a sight to behold. But for the duo, these moments are also opportunities to strengthen and reaffirm their bond.
Local Adventures of Luis and Gera:
Ever heard of Mayapo in La Guajira, Colombia? Many refer to this spot as a slice of heaven on earth. For Luis and Gera, it’s their preferred domestic retreat. Nestled between pristine beaches and the rich heritage of the Wayúu indigenous community, Mayapo holds a special charm.
Conveniently located near Luis Diaz’s ancestral home, this destination is a favorite among his circle – friends, family, and of course, Gera. It’s their go-to place, offering rejuvenation and a dose of cultural richness, especially during the summer months.
Luis Diaz’s Ride:
A proud Wayuu descendant, Luis boasts a sleek BMW X series in his collection. This jet-black vehicle, often spotted with Gera Ponce at the wheel, is a statement in itself. The BMW X series, depending on the model and features, can be priced anywhere from $46,900 to $213,900.
Luis Diaz’s Familial Bonds:
For Diaz, having a family deeply entrenched in football isn’t just significant – it’s central to his existence. Dive into this segment of Luis Diaz’s narrative, and you’ll discover insights about his kin. Let’s embark with an introduction to Manuel, the patriarch of the Wayuu clan.
The Guiding Hand – Luis Diaz’s Father:
If you were to survey folks about prominent youth soccer mentors within the Wayuu community of Colombia, a name you’d often hear is Luis Manuel Díaz. Throughout the years, he has not only been a guiding force behind his son’s trajectory but also an avid supporter since Luis’s formative years.
In Defense of Integrity:
There was a time when fingers were pointed at Luis Díaz for allegedly flouting FC Porto’s regulations related to social outings. The club had stipulated guidelines restricting the hours players could spend at social events.
Luis’s father, Luis Manuel Díaz, stepped forward to shield his son amidst these swirling rumors. He voiced his dismay over the misrepresentations surrounding the incident, stating:
The magnitude of these allegations deeply troubles us.
My son, Luis, is an upright young man, anchored in strong values with a spotless reputation.
Throughout his professional journey, there’s never been a blot on his record with any of his previous affiliations.
Luis Manuel Díaz was of the firm conviction that FC Porto should have addressed the matter privately rather than making it a public spectacle. His discontentment with FC Porto’s communication head, Francisco Marques, was evident. Such incidents played a part in Luis’s eventual move to Liverpool.
Luis Diaz’s Maternal Anchor:
Managing a household brimming with football enthusiasts, including her spouse, seems second nature to Silenis Marulanda. Similar to the matriarch behind Albert Sambi Lokonga, Silenis embraces her role effortlessly. She stands as a pillar of strength, exuding love and compassion.
Luis Diaz’s Sibling – Jesus Diaz:
Jesus Diaz, a fellow football enthusiast like Luis, currently represents Barranquilla FC, as of this biography’s date. This places him geographically closer to the family residence than his elder sibling. He shares an unmistakably close bond with Luis and Luis’s spouse, Gera Ponce. An illustrative moment was captured in Cancun, Mexico, where a radiant, expectant Gera joined the two brothers for a holiday snapshot.
Another Diaz on the Field – Roger David Diaz, Famously Known as Roller:
Continuing the football legacy is Roller, another sibling in the Diaz clan. Fully named Roller David Diaz Marulanda, he’s Luis’s immediate junior. Both he and Jesus have been inspired by Luis’s journey, with Roller expressing immense pride in having a global football sensation, fondly referred to as “Luchito”, as an elder brother.
A fun fact: Both of Luis Diaz’s siblings, Roger and Jesus, have showcased their skills for Barranquilla FC’s under-20 team. Moreover, the duo has also been associated with Atletico Junior.
Luis Diaz’s Cherished Grandmother:
The Colombian footballer, Luis Diaz holds cherished memories of his paternal grandmother, Rosaura Jiménez. She was the loving mother of Luis’s father, Luis Manuel Díaz. Sadly, she passed away on October 22, 2018, just as Luis was rising to football prominence.
Rosaura resided in San Juan del Cesar, La Guajira, where many of Luis Diaz’s kin still live. Not long before her passing, she shared her sentiments with the Colombian press (AL DÍA), expressing her joy over a generous gift from Luis – a sizable television that enabled her to watch his matches. In her words:
Luis has always been our family’s pillar.
During my illness and subsequent treatment in Valledupar, he stood steadfastly by my side.
Luis Diaz’s Guiding Grandfather:
Jacob Díaz, the spouse of the late Rosaura Jiménez, played a pivotal role in Luis’s early years. Their residence, situated opposite a field in the Lleras neighbourhood of Barrancas, became the backdrop for young Luis’s budding football passion.
Drawing parallels with the grandfathers of footballers like Bruno Guimarães and Kai Havertz, Jacob Díaz was instrumental in nurturing Luis’s initial football endeavours. Interestingly, it was this very field, adjacent to their home, where Luis’s love for the sport first flourished.
Growing up, a television set was absent from the Diaz household. However, Luis found solace in the captivating tales spun by his grandparents, with his grandfather’s narratives often being a highlight.
Noteworthy Relatives of Luis Diaz:
Among Luis’s extended family, his aunt, Aracelis Díaz, garners particular attention. As previously mentioned, she divulged details about Luis’s preferred delicacies. Information about other distant family members of the accomplished forward remains limited.
Delving deeper into the life of Luis Diaz, this segment sheds light on some lesser-known aspects of the footballer. Let’s get started.
An Unfortunate Incident on the Field:
In February 2020, during an FC Porto match against Braga, Luis Díaz inadvertently caused an injury to opponent David Carmo, resulting in a broken leg. This distressing moment can be viewed in the accompanying video.
Compounding the distress, the ambulance dispatched to assist the wounded player malfunctioned right on the field. With a sense of urgency, players from both teams stepped in to get the vehicle operational.
Luis Diaz’s Financial Standing:
To gauge Luis Diaz’s financial health, one can begin by analyzing his earnings from Liverpool FC.
Earning a substantial sum of over fifteen billion Colombian pesos annually, Luis Diaz has indeed established himself as a billionaire in his homeland.
Considering his earnings from past years and the influx from endorsements, Luis Diaz’s estimated net worth stands at roughly 5.5 million pounds.
Luis Diaz’s Performance in FIFA:
Boasting an impressive 92 acceleration and sprint speed rating, Diaz has cemented his position as one of the Premier League’s swiftest players.
His FIFA attributes highlight his exceptional movement, skill, and attacking prowess. FIFA enthusiasts will certainly relish his speed, reminiscent of players like Moses Simon and Adama Traoré.
Liverpool’s coach, Jurgen Klopp, had a vision for Diaz – to bolster the team’s attack and possibly step in for either Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah.
Given this, it comes as no surprise that Diaz’s attributes mirror those of the celebrated African forwards.
Luis Diaz’s Religion/Spiritual Beliefs:
Much like his fellow Colombian footballers, Jhon Duran, and Yerry Mina, Luis Diaz is a devout Christian. Research has it that the Liverpool Winger was raised in a devoted Catholic family by his Mum, Silenis and Dad, Manuel. Luis’ faith aligns with the predominant religious beliefs of nearly 69% of Colombians.
Born to Silenis Marulanda and Luis Manuel Díaz, Luis Diaz embarked on life’s journey as the eldest child in his family, with his younger siblings, Roger David Diaz and Jësüs Manuel Dïäż, following suit.
Growing up in the arid landscapes of Barrancas, Colombia, Diaz’s early life was marred by the environmental hazards caused by the nearby Cerrejón coal mine. Hailing from the Wayuu ethnic group, Luis’s community often faced challenges and adversities.
In his younger days, Luis grappled with malnutrition, often relying on goat meat for sustenance. The lack of a television in his household meant that evenings were filled with stories shared by his grandparents. Inspired by Ronaldinho, young Diaz kickstarted his passion for football at his father’s training academy.
A breakthrough moment arrived for Diaz during a South American tournament. His standout performance paved the way for his association with Barranquilla FC, followed by a stint at Atlético Junior through tryouts. His impressive trajectory then led him to FC Porto, and eventually, he donned the Liverpool jersey.
Thank you Note:
We appreciate your time and interest in discovering Luis Diaz’s journey through our lens. He is a kind man who once agreed to refund Liverpool fans their money after he took the club’s number 7 shirt.
Striving for accuracy and integrity, we hope we’ve painted a comprehensive picture of one of South America’s finest talents. Should you find any discrepancies in the narrative, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
Lastly, we’d love to hear your take on the blazing journey of Luis Diaz. Your feedback is invaluable. Stay connected for more tales of football articles – Kevin Schade and Jude Bellingham. If you’re curious about South American talents, our Alejandro Garnacho and Julio Enciso feature will pique your interest.