EL HADJI OUSSEYNOU DIOUF (French pronunciation: ; born 15 January
1981) is a retired Senegalese footballer . Throughout his career,
Diouf played as a winger or a forward .
Having started his professional football career in France with
Sochaux , Rennes and Lens , Diouf finalised a move to Premier League
side Liverpool prior to the
2002 FIFA World Cup for
Senegal and went
on to have a memorable tournament. He has also played in England's top
Bolton Wanderers , Sunderland and
Blackburn Rovers before a
stint in the Scottish
Premier League with Rangers . In 2011, he joined
Football League Championship side Doncaster Rovers but was released at
the end of the 2011–12 season following the club's relegation. He
then moved to
Leeds United where he spent two seasons, making 40
appearances. During his nine-year international career, he scored 21
goals in 69 caps; he has also garnered a large amount of notoriety for
a series of controversial incidents.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Club career
* 2.1 Early career
* 2.2 Liverpool
* 2.4 Sunderland
* 2.5.1 Loan to Rangers
* 2.6 Doncaster Rovers
* 3 International career
* 4 Honours
* 4.1 Club
* 4.2 Individual
* 5 Career statistics
* 6 Controversies
* 6.1 In France
* 6.2 In England
* 6.3 In Scotland
* 7 After football
* 8 References
* 9 External links
Senegal , Diouf came from a Serer background of the
noble Diouf family . His father, who was also a footballer, left when
he was 8 years old. Raised by his grandparents, Diouf was reunited
with his father after a 22-year absence. Although they did not see
each other for many years, Diouf is reported to have said his father
is someone he loves very much and was happy to see him again in spite
of not growing up with him.
Diouf started his career in France with Sochaux-Montbéliard . He
made his debut appearance in a 2–1 win against Bastia on 12 November
1998, before moving to Rennes for the 1999–2000 season. He moved to
Lens the following season, spending two years at the Pas-de-Calais
club before moving to English club Liverpool in 2002 for a fee of £10
Diouf was signed in 2002 for £10m by
Gérard Houllier ahead of the
2002 World Cup . His impressive performances in the tournament for
Senegal, where they reached the quarter finals, led to much excitement
for his arrival. Diouf was the striker Houllier hoped would take the
Premier League title from
Manchester United, after Liverpool had
finished in second place the previous season. Diouf won praises for
his early games for Liverpool including his first game at Anfield
where he scored two goals, his first for the club, in a 3–0 win
against Southampton on 24 August 2002. He started the 2003 Football
League Cup Final as Liverpool defeated
Manchester United .
Liverpool fans had to wait until March 2003 for Diouf's next goal for
Liverpool. That occurred in a 2–0 win against
Bolton Wanderers , in
a game where he scored once and provided the assist for the second.
The next game saw Diouf play in a
UEFA Cup match against Celtic at
Parkhead which finished 1–1. The game marked a watershed in his
career when, in the 87th minute, he spat at a Celtic fan, causing
crowd disturbances and Diouf to be interviewed by the police .
Houllier told him "The stigma of what you did will follow you round
for the rest of your career. You'll never live it down". He received
a two match ban and was fined two weeks wages with Liverpool making a
donation of £60,000 to a
Glasgow charity of Celtic's choice.
Diouf failed to score for the remainder of the 2002–03 season or at
all in the 2003–04 season which saw him pick up 13 yellow and one
red card which came on 7 January 2004 when he was sent-off in a 1–0
away win against Chelsea for fouling
Adrian Mutu . By then he had
become unpopular due to both his attitude and his lack of goals. Jamie
Carragher later said of him "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." At the beginning of the 2004–05 season he was loaned
Bolton Wanderers . At the end of the season-long loan — and
after scoring a mere six goals in 80 appearances with only three in
the league — Diouf left Liverpool signing permanently for Bolton in
the summer of 2005.
Bolton Wanderers bought Diouf from Liverpool for an undisclosed fee
at the start of the 2005–06 season , after they had loaned the
player for the 2004–05 season . On 15 September 2005, Diouf scored
Bolton's first ever goal in a European competition against Lokomotiv
Plovdiv in a
UEFA Cup match at the
Reebok Stadium . Bolton went on to
win the game 2–1. He was largely successful at Bolton and became a
fans' favourite due to his flair and direct running. Diouf confirmed
in an interview with the
BBC that he would be leaving Bolton at the
end of the 2007–08 season and that his goal against Sunderland on 3
May marked his last appearance at the Reebok Stadium.
Diouf signed for Sunderland on 28 July 2008, after Bolton agreed to a
transfer fee of £2.63m. He signed a four-year contract at the
Stadium of Light
Stadium of Light after undergoing a medical. Diouf said that he was
happy to join Sunderland. Then-manager
Roy Keane stated he was happy
that Diouf had joined Sunderland saying: "El Hadji has always been the
kind of player opposition teams and supporters hate. That's why we're
delighted to now have him in our squad." Diouf made a promising start
for Sunderland but failed to score in any of his sixteen appearances.
Diouf signed for
Blackburn Rovers for an undisclosed fee on 30
January 2009, signing a three-and-half-year deal after just six months
at the Stadium of Light, rejoining former Bolton manager Sam Allardyce
at the club. He was given the number 18 shirt and scored his first
goal for the club against Fulham at
Craven Cottage on 11 March 2009 in
a 2–1 win. During the summer transfer window, Blackburn manager Sam
Allardyce revealed that Diouf was acquired for £1 million. Diouf
scored his first home goal for Rovers at
Ewood Park in the club's
3–1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on 12 September 2009. On 2
January 2010, he was sent off in a 3–1 defeat to Aston Villa in the
third round of the
FA Cup . On 21 March 2010, Diouf scored the
equalising goal against Chelsea in a 1–1 draw at
Ewood Park which
opened up the 2010 title race. He started the next two Premier League
games against Birmingham and Burnley; he then made his fortieth
appearance for the club at
Fratton Park playing against
bottom-of-the-league side Portsmouth in a 0–0 draw on 3 April. By
the end of the 2009–10 season, he had made 27 appearances, scoring
On 20 August 2011, Blackburn manager
Steve Kean confirmed that Diouf
was not in his first-team plans, and that he expected him to leave
before the end of the 2011–12 transfer window. On 31 August 2011,
Blackburn terminated Diouf's contract by mutual consent. He had fallen
out with manager Kean after returning late for pre-season training.
Loan To Rangers
Diouf holding the
Scottish League Cup during his time with
On the last day of the 2011 January transfer window, Diouf joined
Premier League champions Rangers on loan until the end of the
2010–11 season . He made his debut on 2 February, coming on as a
20th-minute substitute for injured teammate
Lee McCulloch during a
1–0 win over Hearts at Ibrox . He made his first start for Rangers
four days later in a 2–2 draw with Celtic in the
Scottish Cup .
Diouf scored his first goal for Rangers on 24 February in a 2–2 draw
against Sporting CP in the Europa League , netting the opening goal of
the game with a header in the 20th minute. He then scored his second
goal for Rangers on 13 March in a Scottish
Premier League match with
Kilmarnock , again scoring the first goal as Rangers won 2–1. In
March 2011 Diouf was part of the Rangers team that won the Scottish
League Cup after a 2–1 win over rivals Celtic . Diouf also
collected an SPL winners medal as Rangers performed a comeback from
two points behind Celtic to win the league by one point.
In October 2011, Diouf was handed a trial by West Ham United and
their manager, Sam Allardyce, his manager at both
Bolton Wanderers and
Blackburn Rovers. On 28 October it was announced that Diouf would not
be joining the club because of a lack of fitness and his bad
reputation. Allardyce later confirmed that the depth of feeling
amongst fans was taken into account in his decision not to sign the
On 31 October 2011, Diouf signed for Doncaster Rovers on a
three-month contract. He scored his first two goals for Doncaster
against Ipswich at
Portman Road on 5 November 2011, earning Man of the
Match honours and a 3–2 victory. He took the captain's armband in a
goalless draw against Watford but a training injury meant he was
unable to play the following games. On 2 February 2012, Diouf signed a
6-month deal with the view to an extra year.
After Doncaster were relegated from The Championship, On 25 April
2012, Diouf was believed to have held talks with
Leeds United with a
view to signing him at the end of his Doncaster contract. Diouf
claimed on 26 April he was very keen on moving to Leeds despite
history between him and manager
Neil Warnock , which previously
involved Warnock calling him "lower than a sewer rat" after an
Jamie Mackie .
On 19 July 2012 it was announced that Diouf would not face charges
for assault after being arrested following an incident in a Manchester
nightclub in April.
On 9 August 2012, Diouf joined
Leeds United on trial and started
training with the first team. Diouf was confirmed as signing a
non-contract deal with
Leeds United on 11 August. Diouf was named as
a substitute and made his debut as a substitute in the second half for
Leeds in the first game of the season against Shrewsbury Town in the
League Cup on 11 August.
Diouf made his league début for Leeds as a first-half substitute in
their 1–0 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers . Diouf made his
first start for Leeds in their 2–1 victory over Peterborough United
on 25 August.
On 1 September, Diouf scored his first goal for Leeds against his
Blackburn Rovers in the 3–3 draw between the two sides.
After the match it was announced that Diouf had signed a permanent
contract at Leeds until January 2013. Diouf revealed he turned down
more lucrative offers from elsewhere to join Leeds permanently, and
revealed he aimed to become 'a legend' at Leeds by helping them reach
the Premier League. Diouf put in an impressive performance for Leeds'
2–1 victory against Premiership side Everton on 25 September. After
the match, with Diouf impressing in his early games for Leeds, Leeds
Neil Warnock described Diouf as his 'matador' and that Diouf
had made promises to stay at the club beyond his initial 6-month
Diouf scored a brace against
Bristol City to help earn Leeds a 3–2
victory on 29 September. Diouf was named as
Leeds United captain
against his old side
Bolton Wanderers in a 2–2 draw on 2 October.
Diouf scored his 4th goal of the season on 30 October in Leeds' 3–0
League Cup win against
Premier League side
Southampton F.C. to help
Leeds advance to the quarter-finals of the competition. Diouf scored
his milestone 5th goal of the season with a penalty to help earn Leeds
a 2–2 draw against Brighton on 2 November.
On 14 December 2012, Diouf signed a new 18-month deal at the club
taking him until the end of the 2013–14 season. Diouf scored his
7th goal of the season against Brighton on 27 April, however he
received his first red card as a Leeds player seconds after by being
sent off for making a 'gesture' towards the Brighton fans celebrating
In May 2013, Guinea club
AS Kaloum claimed to have signed Diouf,
Leeds United and Diouf in an official statement however strenuously
denied the claims as 'complete rubbish' and that Diouf would be
playing for Leeds for the 2013–14 season. Diouf was ruled out of
the entire 2013–14 pre-season due to a shin infection which meant
Diouf had to rest for a period of at least 10 days.
On 15 August 2013, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported that Diouf was
made available for transfer.
In December 2013, it was revealed Diouf missed several Leeds fixtures
and training sessions for unspecified 'personal problems', and was
also granted time off by the club to attend the funerals of former
Bruno Metsu and former President of South
Nelson Mandela .
Diouf made his first start for Leeds in several months on 28 January
coming into the starting lineup against
Ipswich Town . It was to be
his final game for the club and on 16 May 2014, Diouf was released by
Leeds United .
In November 2014, Diouf joined second-tier Malaysian side
Sabah FA in
Premier League signing a one-year contract and become the
team captain. However, during his career with the team, he was
criticised and labelled "unprofessional" for his attitude on praising
one of the league opponent
Johor Darul Takzim II F.C. during an
Johor TV by saying "he is willing to build a JDT
academy on his own land in
Senegal and JDT will get the monetary
returns from the proceed of selling players to European countries. He
also said that he is willing to play for JDT without any money because
of his love for the state of
Johor as well as being impressed by the
vision and mission of the club". Diouf said this was due to the lack
of vision and mission by Sabah Football Association (SAFA). Because of
this, Diouf was stripped of the captaincy in July 2015.
Diouf's international career started in April 2000 against Benin . He
has earned 69 international caps and scored 21 goals for his country.
He played for
Senegal in their
2002 FIFA World Cup campaign and was
elected to the World Cup All-Star team, after leading
Senegal to the
quarter-finals and victories over France (1–0) and Sweden (2–1).
Senegal eventually lost 1–0 in extra time to Turkey . He was also
part of the
Senegal team who were the runners-up in the 2002 African
Cup of Nations . Diouf was banned from international football for four
matches in 2004 for a verbal assault on referee
Ali Bujsaim .
In 2004, he was named in the
FIFA 100 , a list of the 125 greatest
living footballers selected by
Pelé in conjunction with
centenary celebrations. In October 2007, Diouf retired from
international football, stating he had been frustrated by
organisational problems with the side. However,
Senegal coach Henryk
Kasperczak announced later in the month that he would name Diouf in
the next squad.
In 2011 Diouf was banned for 5 years from playing for the Senegal
national side, after reacting angrily to claims that he had failed to
attend a disciplinary hearing. In September 2012, The Senegal
Football Federation confirmed that Diouf's 5-year ban had been
decreased and that he was available to play for the
side again. After becoming available for the
Senegal national side,
in October 2012 Diouf was left out of the squad to face Côte d'Ivoire
in an African Cup of Nations qualifier, Diouf proclaimed that he felt
he was left out of the squad because the
Senegal federation were
'scared' of him.
Diouf has twice been named the
African Footballer of the Year .
Football League Cup
Football League Cup : 2003
Scottish League Cup : 2011
Premier League : 2011
African Footballer of the Year : 2001, 2002
African Footballer of the Year : 2002
FIFA World Cup All-star team: 2002
As of 27 February 2015
COUPE DE FRANCE
COUPE DE LA LIGUE
Diouf's professional career has at times been overshadowed by
controversy. During his time at Sochaux, he was involved in a
succession of minor transgressions. This resulted in the move to
Rennes, where he was convicted for driving without a licence, and was
involved in a car crash. Taking into account his age and evident
remorse, the French courts sentenced Diouf to community service.
During his early
Premier League career, Diouf was involved in several
incidents where he spat, or allegedly spat, at fans and opposition
players. In 2002, he was accused of spitting at West Ham fans while
warming up as a substitute for Liverpool during a game at
After investigation by
Merseyside Police there was no evidence that an
offence had been committed, but that Diouf had spat on the ground. On
13 March 2003, while playing for Liverpool, he was involved in an
incident when he spat at Celtic fans during a televised
quarter-final. His club fined him two weeks' wages,
UEFA gave him a
two-match ban, and Diouf was charged with assault. Although Diouf
initially pleaded not guilty, he later changed his plea to guilty,
and was fined £5,000. In November 2004 while on loan to Bolton,
Diouf was charged by the police for spitting at an 11-year-old
Middlesbrough fan during a 1–1 draw. Then, on 27 November 2004,
Diouf spat in the face of Portsmouth player
Arjan de Zeeuw . He was
fined two weeks' wages by Bolton and was banned for three games by the
FA after pleading guilty to a charge of improper conduct. Bolton
Sam Allardyce later revealed that he considered sending Diouf
to see a sports psychologist.
On 20 September 2009, Diouf was questioned by police after
allegations that he had made a racial slur to a ball-boy during a
match at Everton , telling him to "fuck off, white boy". Diouf
defended his actions by saying that the ball-boy had thrown the ball
to him "like a bone to a dog" and that Everton fans were racially
abusing and throwing bananas at him; police found no evidence of this.
In April 2010, Diouf was arrested and charged with motoring offences
On 8 January 2011, following Blackburn's 1–0 win over Queens Park
Rangers in the
FA Cup third round, QPR manager
Neil Warnock accused
Diouf of taunting
Jamie Mackie whilst the latter lay on the pitch
injured with a broken leg and referred to Diouf as "lower than a sewer
On 14 July 2011, it was reported that Diouf had not joined Blackburn
Rovers for a pre-season tour of Austria and that his whereabouts were
unknown. It was later revealed that disciplinary measures would
probably be taken against him.
In February 2012, the Daily Mail reported
Gary Taylor-Fletcher 's
claim that Diouf spat towards Blackpool goalkeeper
Matt Gilks during
Doncaster's 3–1 home defeat; Taylor-Fletcher was quoted as saying
"Diouf was back to his antics of spitting again".
On 15 April 2012, Diouf and five other men were arrested following
reports of a nightclub brawl in Manchester. One man was seriously
injured and Diouf was bailed for a week.
In February 2013, it was revealed that Diouf had been the victim of
some alleged abusive language towards him from opposition supporters
in the match against Millwall .
On 27 April 2013, Diouf was shown a controversial red card at Elland
Road after making offensive gestures towards the Brighton away fans.
In February 2011, Diouf became embroiled in an argument with Celtic
Captain Scott Brown after several on pitch altercations with Brown in
Scottish Cup 5th round, most notable of which resulted in Brown
specifically turning to Diouf to celebrate his equalising goal.
On 2 March 2011, Diouf was one of three Rangers players sent off in
Scottish Cup 5th round replay after an altercation at the
Neil Lennon and dissent to the referee at full-time.
Diouf was fined £5,000 in April 2011 and warned over his future
conduct by the Scottish Football Association.
In 2017, Diouf, now living back in
Dakar was working as a
government goodwill ambassador and adviser on sport to President Macky
Sall . Diouf was also running his own sports newspaper business in
Dakar and operating his own gymnasium.
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* ^ "Blackburn Rovers\'
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf faces driving charges.". BBC
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* ^ "QPR manager
Neil Warnock critical of \'nasty\' El-Hadji