In Senegal, he is a hero. Wherever he goes, he is applauded by fans, young and old. But in Britain, he is remembered more for his controversial escapades than for his talent as a footballer.
It was a trait that followed him in the English league clubs he played – from Liverpool through Blackburn Rovers to Bolton Wanderers, and then to the Rangers in Scotland, Diouf was aggressive, spitting on his Opponents and confronted the referees and other players.
But now, at his retirement, he tells his story. “I have character and I want people to respect me.”
Diouf, who returned to the Senegalese capital, Dakar, reveals that he was often misjudged and misunderstood while playing in England. He added that he “is an easy target”. “It is easy to approach El Hadji Diouf and I let them talk but I know in my heart that I am a good boy. My family knows that, the Senegalese know this, my continent knows it and it is the best thing. The rest is not my problem. “
Despite this defense, Diouf admits he has done bad things. When asked why, for example, he was spitting on the opponents, he revealed that “Maybe they were telling me something I did not want to hear. I did that, I paid and now it’s over. “
The legend of Senegal had a misunderstanding with former Liverpool teammates such as Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard. Even today, Diouf and Gerrard continue their quarrel by media interposés.
Diouf works in Senegal as a goodwill ambassador for the government. He is advisor to President Macky Sall on sport and runs his own sports newspaper in Dakar