Players - El Hadji Diouf

El Hadji Diouf
Birthdate: 15 January 1981
Birthplace: Dakar, 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), Sabah FA (2014-15)
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
Games/assists ratio: 11.43
Honours: League Cup 2003
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 10 / 1
League games / goals / assists: 55 / 3 / 4
Total games / goals / assists: 80 / 6 / 7

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 a 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." Perhaps surprisingly, the player lasted longer at Elland Road than the manager. Warnock left Leeds on 1 April 2013 but Diouf appeared in 45 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. He then moved to Malaysia where he joined Sabah FC for one season. In February 2016 Diouf launched an extraordinary attack on Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, referring to the latter a sh*t. By then he had retired from playing and was working as an adviser to the president of Senegal. He is also a goodwill ambassador for the country and operates a gymnasium in the capital, Dakar. 
Appearances per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 55 4 7 13 1 80
2002-2003 29 3 5 9 1 47
2003-2004 26 1 2 4 0 33
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
Apps Minutes Opponent
5 403 Arsenal
5 378 Southampton
5 322 Blackburn Rovers
4 322 Aston Villa
4 304 Charlton Athletic
4 249 Manchester United
4 232 Manchester City
3 270 Leeds United
3 238 Tottenham
3 190 Newcastle United
3 185 Chelsea
3 173 Bolton Wanderers
2 210 Sheffield United
2 175 Crystal Palace
2 163 Middlesbrough
2 152 Auxerre
2 135 Birmingham City
2 126 Steaua Bucharest
2 112 Everton
2 74 Portsmouth
2 51 Sunderland
2 30 Basel
2 28 Spartak Moscow
1 120 Ipswich Town
1 90 West Ham United
1 90 Olimpija
1 89 Celtic
1 88 Leicester City
1 87 Yeovil Town
1 77 Vitesse Arnhem
1 68 WBA
1 46 Valencia
1 29 Wolves
1 14 Fulham
1 5 Levski Sofia
Total Started/substitutions
61 Started
13 On the bench
19 Substitute
36 Substituted
Total Venue
41 Home
37 Away
2 Neutral
Total Competition
55 Premier League
8 UEFA Cup
7 League Cup
5 Champions League
4 FA Cup
1 Community Shield
Total W D L Win % Manager
80 39 20 21 48.8% Gérard Houllier
Goals per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 3 0 3 0 0 6
2002-2003 3 0 3 0 0 6
2003-2004 0 0 0 0 0 0
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
Total Started/substitutions
6 Started
0 Substitute
Total Competition
3 League Cup
3 Premier League
Total Goal minute period
2 1-15 minutes
1 31-45 minutes
3 46-60 minutes
Total Goal origin
5 Open play
1 Penalty
Assists per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 4 0 3 0 0 7
2002-2003 2 0 0 0 0 2
2003-2004 2 0 3 0 0 5
A more detailed look at the player's assists
Milestone Appearances
# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 11.08.2002 Arsenal Millennium Stadium Other
50 27.08.2003 Tottenham Anfield League
Milestone Goals
# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 3 24.08.2002 Southampton Anfield League
Related Articles
Villa frustrated by fluke

The Telegraph report on Liverpool - Aston Villa on 10.01.2004.

Owen's goals take the heat off Houllier

The Telegraph report on Everton - Liverpool on 30.08.2003.

Predator Diouf as Liverpool march on

The Telegraph report on Liverpool - Southampton on 24.08.2002.

Liverpool lose their winning record in a cloud of red mist

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

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

Other Clubs
Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Sochaux 1998-1999 France 1 15 0 15 0
Stade Rennais 1999-2000 France 1 28 1 28 1
Lens 2000-2001 France 1 28 8 28 8
Lens 2001-2002 France 1 26 10 26 10
Bolton Wanderers 2004-2005 England Premier League 27 9 32 9
Bolton Wanderers 2005-2006 England Premier League 20 3 27 4
Bolton Wanderers 2006-2007 England Premier League 33 5 35 5
Bolton Wanderers 2007-2008 England Premier League 34 4 42 6
Sunderland 2008-2009 England Premier League 14 0 16 0
Blackburn Rovers 2008-2009 England Premier League 14 1 14 1
Blackburn Rovers 2009-2010 England Premier League 26 3 27 3
Blackburn Rovers 2010-2011 England Premier League 20 0 21 0
Rangers 2010-2011 Scotland Premier League 15 1 22 2
Doncaster Rovers 2011-2012 England Championship 22 6 23 6
Leeds United 2012-2013 England Championship 35 5 44 7
Leeds United 2013-2014 7 0 7 0
Sabah 2014-2015 Malaysia 1 6 0 7 0
Total 370 56 414 62