Paulo Diaz has football in his blood, having inherited his love for the game and playing position from his father Italo, a central defender whose career spanned more than 20 years.

It was his father who gave him a valuable piece of advice that has stood him in good stead so far: “Play where your coach tells you.”

A pacy, formidable man marker, Diaz is an imposing presence in the air at both ends of the pitch and can play as a libero, left-sided centre-back, full-back or defensive midfielder.

A youth product at Palestino, he made his first division debut as a 19-year-old in 2013, earning the nickname of Bombero (The Fireman) on account of his gift for snuffing out danger at the back.  

His versatility attracted the attention of Jorge Sampaoli, who gave him his Chile debut in a friendly against USA in early 2015.

Diaz signed for Colo Colo later that year, though a lack of opportunities led to him joining his current club, San Lorenzo of Argentina, where he is now a first teamer. In the meantime, he appeared in the first squad announced by Sampaoli’s successor Juan Pizzi.

Introduced gradually to international football, Diaz’s performances at the 2017 China Cup earned him a place in the squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifiers and, ultimately, the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017.