- Luis Diaz returned to action with Liverpool this weekend and scored an equaliser
- His father remains in the hands of his captors after being kidnapped in Colombia
- Liverpool's Luis Diaz is extraordinary - Listen here to It's All Kicking Off podcast
Mail Sport's Football Editor was effusive in his praise of the Colombian winger for his mental strength in deciding to play at Kenilworth Road on Sunday.
Speaking on the It's All Kicking Off podcast, Ladyman described the decision to play by Diaz as 'extraordinary'.
'Liverpool's equaliser scored by Luis Diaz,' Ladyman began.
'His father is still missing in Colombia, kidnapped by a group who go by the name of the National Liberation Army.
Luis Diaz chose to play for Liverpool at the weekend and when he scored their equaliser he revealed a T-shirt with the words 'Libertad Para Papa' ('Freedom for Papa') under his jersey
Diaz's father Luis Manuel (right) is still to be released by left-wing rebel group ELN - but the head of the guerrilla group is reported to have said they made a 'mistake' holding the father
Ian Ladyman said on Mail Sport's It's All Kicking Off podcast that Diaz's decision to play at the weekend, given the circumstances, is the 'bravest' thing he has seen from a player this season
'He didn't play last week because he's, for obvious reasons, he wasn't mentally right.
'He came off the bench [at Luton], he scores the equaliser. I happen to think, and I'm not, this is not hyperbole, I don't think, I think that is the bravest thing I've seen from a footballer this season.'
Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk has since revealed that Diaz told his team-mates he does not want them to suffer with him and urged them to use his unimaginable situation following the kidnap of his parents as fuel.
Diaz's mother and father had been snatched off the streets by armed men on motorbikes in his native Colombia, with his mother quickly released in the hours after the kidnapping.
His father, affectionately known as 'Mane', remains missing, although the terror group who snatched him have pledged to 'keep their word' and free him, provided they get 'security guarantees' over their own safety upon his release.
It remains a fluid situation but one that is highly stressful for Diaz and his family, many of whom are back waiting nervously for his dad's release in Colombia.
'If my father was in that situation, if I had that going on, I wouldn't be at work,' Ladyman continued. 'I wouldn't be sitting here.
'I think that's extraordinary what Luis Diaz has done for his club on Sunday.'
He was involved in Liverpool's matchday squad for the first time since his father's kidnapping
Co-host Chris Sutton could only echo the thoughts of Ladyman, before suggesting that football may hold a degree of 'escapism' for the Reds attacker.
'I think it shows his massive strength of character as much as anything,' Sutton said.
'He might actually see going out and training and playing as a bit of escapism to try and take his mind off. You know, it's a very, very personal thing.'
Diaz sent a message to his dad after scoring the equalising goal in the 1-1 draw at Luton, lifting his shirt to reveal a t-shirt with the words 'Libertad Para Papa' ('Freedom for Papa').
Despite FA rules stating that players cannot lift shirts to reveal personal messages, given the exceptional circumstances - and the fact the 26-year-old did not fully remove his shirt - Mail Sport understands bosses will not bring charges.
Co-host Chris Sutton (right) suggested that every player is different and playing on may actually provide Diaz with some 'escapism' amid the stress of waiting for his father's release
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