Player profile

El Hadji Diouf

Birthdate: 15 January 1981
Birthplace: Daqar, Senegal
Other clubs: Sochaux (1998-99), Stade Rennais (1999-2000), Lens (2000-02), Bolton Wanderers (loan 2004-05 + transfer 2005-08), Sunderland (2008-09), Blackburn Rovers (2009-11), Rangers (loan 2011), Doncaster Rovers (2011-12), Leeds United (2012-14)
Bought from: Lens
Signed for LFC: £10m, 01.06.2002
International debut: 23.04.2000 vs. Benin
International caps: 69/21 - 2009
Liverpool debut: 11.08.2002
Last appearance: 17.04.2004
Debut goal: 24.08.2002
Last goal: 08.03.2003
Contract expiry: 15.06.2005
Win ratio: 48.75% W: 39 D: 20 L: 21
Honours: League Cup 2003
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 10 / 1
LFC league games/goals: 55 / 3
Total LFC games/goals: 80 / 6

Player profile

Diouf had a tough upbringing on the streets of Senegal before he emigrated to France and played solitary seasons for Sochaux and Rennes from 1998-2000. After 18 goals in 54 league games in two seasons for Lens and coming close to winning the title in his second season he accepted Liverpool's offer prior to the 2002 World Cup. Liverpool had finished second in the League and Houllier saw Diouf as the player who could get them the elusive Premiership title rather than Nicolas Anelka who had been on loan at Liverpool for five months. Diouf was the key player in Senegal's team that reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in South Korea and Japan and was voted the Best African player in 2002. His Anfield career seemed quite promising as he scored two goals on his Anfield debut against Southampton on 24 August 2002 but the next goal didn't come until November. More accustomed to the bench than being in the first eleven he got a regular run in the second half of the 2002/03 season but on the right-wing instead as an out-and-out striker.

Prior to a fifth round showdown against Celtic in the UEFA Cup, Phil Thompson was very complimentary about Diouf: "El Hadji is a lovely lad and can play an important part in the rest of the season.'' What happened in the aforementioned match was not the act of a pristine boy. Diouf disgraced the red shirt of Liverpool by spitting on a Celtic fan after full-time at Celtic Park. UEFA gave Diouf a two-match ban and he was fined two weeks' wages by the club. Diouf apologised but then added later in Senegalese papers he would have beaten up the fan who struck him on the head if he had done the same outside a football ground. Diouf was a regular in the first half of the 2003/04 season that cost Houllier his job and the Senegalese didn't get on the scoresheet at all that season. Diouf joined Bolton on loan in 2004/05 and quickly scored nine League goals for them which led to a permanent deal in the summer of 2005.

Sam Allardyce could hardly believe his luck: "El Hadji has all the skill in the world to become one of our most significant signings in the modern era of this great club," the Bolton boss said. Diouf spent four relatively successful seasons at the Reebok scoring 23 goals in 136 games before joining Sunderland in the summer of 2008. Diouf scored no goals in 16 games for Roy Keane's men before rejoining Allardyce at Blackburn in mid-season for £2 million where he scored a solitary goal in 15 appearances in his debut season. Without a single goal in 2010/11 in 21 matches for Rovers Diouf moved to Rangers on loan in January 2011 which didn't exactly increase his popularity with the Celtic fans. Apart from playing in 15 league matches, he was also a member of the team that won the Scottish league cup in March. Two months later Rangers clinched their third successive Scottish Premier League title.

Diouf's contract with Blackburn was ended 'by mutual consent' in the summer of 2011 by new manager Steve Kean. In October 2011 Diouf was offered a trial at West Ham United, by his old friend, Allardyce. Ultimately, though, the Hammers decided not to offer him a contract, considering his lack of fitness and bad reputation. His colourful past did not prevent Doncaster Rovers from offering him a lifeline and he made 23 appearances and scored six times, but Rovers were relegated to League One. Diouf's career took another strange turn in August 2012 when he accepted a non-contract deal with Neil Warnock's Leeds. The move was very interesting to say the least because Warnock and Diouf abused each other in the media in January 2011 after Diouf, who was then at Blackburn, abused QPR's James Mackie as he lay on the ground with a broken leg. "I was going to call him a sewer rat but that might be insulting to sewer rats," Warnock said and added: "I think he is the lowest of the low. I hope he goes abroad because I won't miss watching him. He is a nasty little person." Diouf responded: "I can't stand him. He is not a good manager. Nobody has heard of him outside of this country so who cares what he thinks about me." So there should be mutual disrespect between them at Elland Road! Perhaps surprisingly, the player lasted longer at Elland Road than the manager. Warnock left Leeds on 1 April 2013 but Diouf appeared in forty-five first-team matches in 2012/13, scoring seven times. Although still under contract to Leeds United in 2013/14, Diouf did not make a single first-team appearance and was released by the club on 16 May 2014, leaving him a free agent at the age of thirty-three.

Appearances per season

SeasonLeagueFALCEuropeOtherTotal
Totals554713180
2002-2003 29359147
2003-2004 26124033

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

TotalOpponent
5Southampton
5Blackburn Rovers
5Arsenal
4Manchester City
4Aston Villa
4Charlton Athletic
4Manchester United
3Leeds United
3Newcastle United
3Chelsea
3Bolton Wanderers
3Tottenham
2Birmingham City
2Spartak Moscow
2Basel
2Auxerre
2Crystal Palace
2Steaua Bucharest
2Everton
2Sheffield United
2Middlesbrough
2Portsmouth
2Sunderland
1Ipswich Town
1Wolves
1Leicester City
1WBA
1West Ham United
1Yeovil Town
1Levski Sofia
1Valencia
1Vitesse Arnhem
1Olimpija
1Fulham
1Celtic
Total Started/substitutions
61 Started
13 On the bench
19 Substitute
36 Substituted

Goals per season

SeasonLeagueFALCEuropeOtherTotal
Totals303006
2002-2003 303006
2003-2004 000000

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

TotalStarted/substitutions
6Started
0Substitute
TotalCompetition
3League Cup
3Premier League
TotalGoal minute period
21-15 minutes
016-30
131-45 minutes
346-60 minutes
061-75
076-90
091-120
TotalOpen play/Penalty
5Open play
1Penalty

Wartime Appearances / Goals

SeasonAppearancesGoals
No records to display.

Stats note

Milestone Appearances

#DateAgainstStadiumCompetition
111.08.2002ArsenalMillennium StadiumOther
5027.08.2003TottenhamAnfieldLeague

Milestone Goals

#MinuteDateAgainstStadiumCompetition
1324.08.2002SouthamptonAnfieldLeague

Related Articles

Villa frustrated by fluke

The Telegraph report on Liverpool - Aston Villa on 10.01.2004.More

Owen's goals take the heat off Houllier

The Telegraph report on Everton - Liverpool on 30.08.2003.More

Predator Diouf as Liverpool march on

The Telegraph report on Liverpool - Southampton on 24.08.2002.More

Liverpool lose their winning record in a cloud of red mist

Match report from 02.01.2006 on Bolton - Liverpool from the Guardian.More

Related Quotes

"I feel that I have become an international star, but less so than if I were European. African players are always less highly regarded. Gérard Houllier says that I would be one of the best players in the world if I was French or Brazilian."

Diouf in 2002

"By 14, I'd got into all the trouble there is. Everyone knew me to be a thug, and they were all scared of me."

El Hadji Diouf

"I explained to him the other day that a poor player gets the ball and passes it back, an average player gets the ball and passes it across, but a very good player gets the ball, dummies, and then gets forward. As I told him, 'You're a striker, so choose what you can do'."

Houllier in December 2002 on El-Hadji Diouf

"Since I was a kid, I have supported this team. I like the style of this team, they never give up - a little like me in fact. I came here to become a champion and that's what I'm concentrating on 100%."

El Hadji Diouf on his arrival to Liverpool

"Since Gregory Vignal went on loan, El-Hadji Diouf has become the worst dresser at the club. He comes out with some belting costumes so the lads are always giving him a bit of stick. He's a very popular lad already, and, thanks to our help, his English is getting better now and there are certain words he particularly likes. It's really funny to see him with a big smile on his face telling us the new words he's been taught."

Chris Kirkland

"He is a big player. He is a fantastic individual player but I think he has to be incorporated into the team system and team pattern. The best passing teams win. El-Hadji Diouf is a fantastic player and a good dribbler. If you could incorporate some of the individual skill together with team play then Liverpool would have the benefit of a great player."

John Barnes

"My biggest disappointment has been El Hadji Diouf because he has great potential but has never shown consistency. On some occasions he has not given a good impression of the club, and that has no doubt in my mind affected people's views. It probably harmed me."

Houllier in May 2004

"El Hadji has all the skill in the world to become one of our most significant signings in the modern era of this great club. Last season he was a revelation and no one more than him relished the opportunity of resurrecting his career with us. We will give him the platform he needs to become one of Europe's top strikers again - that's how much confidence I have in the lad."

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce in June 2005 on the great (!) El Hadji Diouf

"Last season was my best spell for nearly five years and my time at The Reebok gave me an understanding that my career was going nowhere at Liverpool. I played with Bolton on a regular basis and helped them finish amongst the elite in The Premiership."

Diouf in June 2005

"The players Gerard bought in the summer of 2002 let him down. They were bad buys.

With Salif, I knew after a week of training that he wasn't going to be good enough. Diao's a good player, but not Liverpool class.

Diouf arrived with the most potential, and he ended up causing the most aggravation. As Gerard started playing him on the right. I knew he was a poor signing."

I wasn't Diouf's number one fan. Being around Melwood and Anfield. I knew which players were hungry, which players had Liverpool at heart. Diouf was just interested in himself. His attitude was all wrong. I felt he wasn't really arsed about putting his body on the line to get Liverpool back at the top."

Steven Gerrard on Diouf and Diao

"When I got to Liverpool everything the manager would say one thing to me and then he would go and do the opposite. I am the kind of person that doesn’t wait around. if something isn’t really working then I prefer to say so. it either works or I am out of there. and that’s what’s happened. There are more important things in life. I went to Liverpool, I don’t regret playing there, I won matches, I played for a great club, I played with great players, and I also earned a lot of money."

El Hadji Diouf sums up his Liverpool career

"He thinks he's a bit of a star doesn't he? But he has one of the worst strike rates of any forward in Liverpool history. He's the only no. 9 ever to go through a whole season without scoring , in fact he's probably the only no. 9 of any club to do that. He was always the last one to get picked in training."

Carragher is not a big fan of El Hadji Diouf

The player was in the squad the following season

SeasonShirt #Position
2002-2003 9 Striker
2003-2004 9 Striker
* Note, Since the 1993-94 season players have been allocated a fixed number.

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