The international coach of one Liverpool player has urged his critics to lay off and not overburden him with pressure.
Colombia boss Nestor Lorenzo was speaking to the media ahead of their 2026 World Cup qualifier against Uruguay on Thursday night when he fielded questions about Luis Diaz, whose performances are clearly drawing much scrutiny in his homeland.
As per AS, the 57-year-old said: “The first thing we did was tell him [Diaz] that he should not put the team on his shoulders nor that the team’s responsibility weighs on him. People expect him to score four goals per game and that’s not normal.
“His performance has been good and we hope he improves with training and knowledge with his teammates.
“In football you need partnerships and in two [international breaks] he was injured and missed those games that would have given him a little more rapprochement, but we have confidence in him, in his position and in his role. We don’t want him to be the saviour either.
“I notice that if he doesn’t score two goals he’s played badly, and that’s not the case. At Liverpool he plays every three days and here every month.”
Most of Diaz’s critics must be based in Colombia, for he’s by and large earned the adoration of Liverpool fans ever since joining the Reds nearly two years ago.
He was sorely missed during his six-month injury layoff last season, with Jurgen Klopp’s side enduring a difficult campaign in his absence, and has looked sharp since returning in April.
The record books will show that he’s only scored once since the win over Bournemouth in mid-August, a run which covers eight appearances for LFC (Transfermarkt), but as we all know, he had a perfectly good goal inexplicably disallowed against Tottenham recently.
Interestingly, his scoring rates at club and international level since the start of 2022 are nearly identical, with 14 in 57 games for Liverpool and two in 10 caps for Colombia in that timeframe (Transfermarkt).
However, from Lorenzo’s comments, it seems that Diaz is burdened with expectation when representing his country, and perhaps the critics in his homeland need to appreciate him for the all-action player that he is rather than unfairly expecting him to carry the team on his shoulders.
A goal or two during the current international break would be the perfect riposte to his detractors, with hopefully plenty more to follow once he returns to Anfield.