Luis Diaz really wants to appear in the 2026 World Cup with Colombia
Liverpool star Luis Diaz will do everything in his power to ensure Colombia reach the 2026 World Cup.
Diaz and his compatriots saw their bid to qualify for last year’s winter tournament in Qatar end in heartbreak as eight draws in 18 games saw them miss out on a play-off spot by one point.
For Diaz, 26, representing his country at the tournament – which will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada – is at the top of his bucket list.
In an exclusive interview with LiveScore, he said: “We couldn’t qualify for the last World Cup and it was very difficult for us.
“We were so excited at the thought of being there, so it really hurt. Now, we have another chance.
“It’s a big game coming up for us and it’s a dream to represent my country. Wearing that shirt at the World Cup would make us all feel proud.”
Luis Diaz helped Colombia win 1-0 over Venezuela last Friday
After shining when Colombia finished third in the 2021 Copa America, Diaz is already firmly established as his country’s mainstay.
He was at his best against Venezuela before leaving the pitch to a standing ovation in the final minutes in Barranquilla – the city where his football journey began.
Adapting from humble beginnings to superstar status has been a dramatic turnaround for the 40-cap international, who is relishing every opportunity to represent his homeland.
Diaz added: “I still feel normal when I get back out there, but obviously my face is now more recognized because of what I have achieved in football.
“I started my career in Colombia, moved to Europe, and now I play for Liverpool. It’s a great feeling of pride for my fans and my family.
“They tell you they support you and it feels great to represent my country.
“Every supporter loves the fact that I’m playing here [in England] and I’m obviously very grateful to them.
“It’s the fans who really make us and I enjoy bringing the pride of representing Colombia to the world.”
Luis Diaz wears the new Adidas X Crazyfast boots available at http://www.adidas.co.uk/football-shoes
Love the game
Diaz’s popularity domestically and around the world goes hand in hand with the radiant smile he displays every time he steps onto the field.
And that enthusiastic approach is inspired by its South American counterparts.
Diaz said: “The reference point for me is Ronaldinho. I always try to be like him.
“I love the way he handles the ball and how much he enjoys playing football.
“He always plays with a smile on his face, so I try to identify him.
“More recently, people like Lionel Messi and Neymar. They are three people I really looked up to in my youth.”
That familiar smile will be visible more than ever if Diaz makes his World Cup dreams come true.