Former Liverpool and Senegal legend El-Hadji Diouf concedes he has done some terrible things amid his playing days but insist he is not an awful person as seen by a few quarters of the media.
Diouf is a legend in Senegal. Wherever he goes, he is mobbed by fans both young and old. His countrymen are as yet thankful for the stellar part he played amid the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.
In England, Diouf is remembered more for his questionable jokes, controversial antics than for his football ability. It is an attribute that tailed him in the English league clubs he played for – from Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers to Bolton Wanderers, with a spell for Rangers also.
El Hadji Diouf was a forceful and aggressive striker, who spat at opponents and stood up against referees regardless of whether at fault or not, but now in his retirement, he is telling his story.
‘I am a bad loser. I am a lion, I am a bad loser and it’s not wrong to be a bad loser. I have character and I want people to respect me.” said Diouf of his regularly contentious temperament amid his playing days as cited in BBC Sports.
Diouf, who has moved back to the Senegalese capital Dakar, says he was regularly misjudged during his playing days in England.
“I am a simple target. It’s anything but easy to talk El Hadji Diouf and I let them talk but I know in my heart I am a decent guy. My family knows, my populace knows, my continent knows I am a decent guy and that is the best thing. The rest is not my issue.”
Regardless of this defense, Diouf concedes he has done some terrible things. At the point when asked as to why, for instance, he used to spit at opponents, he stated: “Maybe they used to tell me something I wouldn’t like to hear. I did that, I paid and now it’s done.”