El-Hadji Diouf has accused Steven Gerrard of racism.
Diouf claims that he warned Mario Balotelli against joining Liverpool as Gerrard ‘never liked black people.’
“We all saw how he made life difficult for Mario Balotelli at Liverpool. I warned him. Liverpool isn’t a team that accepts black people unless they are English,” Diouf told Portuguese radio station Radio Future Média.
“It’s common knowledge. Gerrard has never liked black people. When I was at Liverpool, I showed him I was black, that I wasn’t English, but that I’m no pushover. All the time I was there, he never dared looked me in the eye.”
The one-time Liverpool striker was responding to Gerrard’s criticism of him in his autobiography, in which the LA Galaxy player said: “I don’t really want to waste time thinking about El Hadji Diouf but it’s worth highlighting his wasted seasons at Liverpool as an example of how it can all go wrong.”
“Gerard Houllier, a very good manager and a usually wise judge of character, signed Diouf in the summer of 2002. Gerard bought Diouf for £10m from Lens – solely on the recommendation of his former assistant, Patrice Bergues, who had coached Diouf there.
“I understood why Gerard rushed through the signing, but he did not really know Diouf as a person. He was one of three new signings which were meant to turn Liverpool into Premier League champions.
“It seemed to me that Diouf had no real interest in football and that he cared nothing about Liverpool. For example, the way he spat a huge globule of gunky phlegm at a Celtic fan in a UEFA Cup match at Parkhead in March 2003 summed up his contemptuous and spiteful demeanour.
“A few people have since asked me if I saw any comparison between Diouf and Mario Balotelli – and I’ve always said no. I’ve got respect for Balotelli; I’ve got none for Diouf.”