Liverpool forward Luis Diaz suffered the misfortune of having a penalty saved in Colombia’s 0-0 draw against Ecuador on Tuesday night in what was ultimately a costly moment.
It led to him being the subject of much criticism from within his country, as outlined in an article for El Espectador, but the 26-year-old had one of his international colleagues leaping to his defence.
Former Spurs defender Davinson Sanchez told Gol Caracol: “There is no need to hide anything. Lucho has been doing very important things in England, I suffered a lot when I was at Tottenham, but one way or another it is to take away that pressure that has indirectly been put on him.
“He is a decisive player for us, but we want him to go back to being that Luis Diaz with freedom, with the desire as he does there in Liverpool.
“The idea was that he could score and take off that pressure a little bit. And, although unfortunately that did not come, we will continue working to ensure that he continues to be decisive.”
He mightn’t always have been the most convincing of centre-backs in north London, but the 27-year-old has showed his class by publicly sticking up for Diaz in the Liverpool attacker’s moment of despair.
The ex-Spurs defender could probably empathise with his Colombia teammate when thinking back to what he had to endure in England, and such shows of support could mean the world to footballers when they’re going through particularly rough times.
Even if the Reds ace isn’t a fan favourite in his homeland right now, Sanchez rightly realises that the 26-year-old can be a genuine match winner at his best, especially when shown the affection that he gets at Anfield.
We’re full sure that Diaz can quickly bounce back from last night’s misfortune to deliver the perfect response to his critics by making a decisive impact for Liverpool. Saturday’s Merseyside derby would be the ideal occasion to do just that!