InterviewLuis Diaz: I've grown as a footballer and person here at Liverpool
Luis Diaz believes being a Liverpool player has added 'intensity' and 'aggression' to his game, revealing his pride at representing the club.
The No.7, who arrived from FC Porto in January 2022, has helped the Reds to an unbeaten start in the 2023-24 Premier League, returning three wins and a draw from their opening four fixtures.
Diaz has been on the scoresheet in two of those games and played another important role in Sunday's 3-0 success over Aston Villa at Anfield, having missed a large chunk of last season through injury.
"I'd say that since being here I've gained in intensity and have a bit more aggression about me," Diaz told the matchday programme.
"Maybe I was developing those things at Porto already because I learned an awful lot in those aspects there too. When you come over to Europe, you work a lot more on those facets of your game, being aggressive.
"I learnt a lot about decision-making too and being more relaxed when a chance comes around. I think I've grown both in football terms and on a personal level, and all that makes me very happy."
On representing Liverpool, he added: "It's something I’m very proud of, being at such a massive club as this one.
"I am incredibly pleased to be here, very much at ease and really happy. I always try to enjoy every minute. I've got some great teammates and I play alongside some big-name players, who at one time I used to watch playing on TV.
"So for me this really is like a dream come true and let's hope I can keep realising even more of those dreams and continue with the successes I've known up to now."
Read on for the rest of the interview with Diaz…
On his injury last season…
It was a difficult and complicated time for me. Not being able to be there at every game with the team is very frustrating. To see all your teammates playing and you cannot be there alongside them is just so tough to take. That period was really hard for me, but I tried hard not to overthink things or pay much attention to negative things so my head wouldn't be swimming with all these thoughts. It was all about work, work and more work so I could be fully fit and recovered; so once I was 100 per cent again, I'd be ready to try to help the team.
On learning English…
Yeah, it's good, my English is much better. I'm trying to have plenty of classes now at home and my level of understanding when listening is better, but speaking it is a little bit more difficult. But yeah, much better. It's very hard, I'm not going to lie, but it really is going better and I've improved in that sense.
On new teammate Alexis Mac Allister…
Alexis and I have had a good friendship from when he first arrived. He's been very close to me and, of course, to the other South American players – we spend a lot of time together with Darwin and Alisson and all get on really well. As for what Alexis brings to the team, well, he just has so much quality. He gets the team playing and he brings a real dynamism. He's not just great with the ball but out of possession too – he always tries to ensure he's in the right position and makes the right decision. That's something about him that impresses me greatly. In the time that we've known each other, he's a great guy – really chilled, very humble and down to earth and nice to get along with.
On his start to the season…
I'm feeling more and more confident as each day goes by and with every training session. Scoring nice goals has a lot to do with having worked so hard to make sure I was in the right shape and, to be honest, I feel great – at 100 per cent and convinced that this season I'm going to do lots to make the fans very happy. I have no doubt about that whatsoever. I'm going to try to always be in top form because my game is all about... well, I'm always looking to do stuff like scoring and creating goals and feeling happy and content when I'm playing my football. I know this is going to be a decent year.
On walking out at Anfield to You'll Never Walk Alone…
It's just so incredible. It's a totally unique feeling and sensation, a real one-off experience. Knowing that as you walk out onto the pitch you'll be able to experience these amazing fans and this great stadium, which is always up and right behind us and giving us support, it sometimes even gives you goosebumps. Honestly, nothing else compares to this. I feel happy being at this great club and I wouldn't change a single thing about this fantastic experience.