STEVEN Gerrard has opened up on controversial midfielder El Hadji Diouf’s time at Liverpool, admitting he had ‘no respect’ for the Senegalese international.
And Gerrard, whose autobiography is being serialised in the Daily Mail, pointed to an incident at Celtic Park that the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder said summed Diouf up.
Gerrard said: “We had finished as runners-up to Manchester United the season before and a combination of Diouf, Salif Diao and Bruno Cheyrou was supposed to drive us to the title. It was probably the biggest waste of £18 million in Liverpool’s history.
“We finished the season in fifth and Diouf had sealed his place at the top of the list of Liverpool signings I liked least.
“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.”
Diouf spat at the Hoops fan in the 87th minute of the 1-1 draw, inciting an angry response from the crowd. The midfielder was interviewed by police after the game and was slapped with a two-match ban and fined two weeks’ wages.
Liverpool made a donation of around £60,000 to a Glasgow charity with Anfield boss Gerard Houllier telling Diouf: “The stigma of what you did will follow you round for the rest of your career.
“You will never live it down.”
Diouf later pitched up at Rangers on loan during the second half of the 2011 season. In April 2011, he was hit with a £5,000 fine following a tempestuous Scottish Cup fifth round replay against Celtic at Parkhead in March.
Diouf was one of three players sent off and copped a warning from the Scottish FA.
Now 34, Diouf is currently captain at Borneo side Sabah alongside former Bolton team-mate Abdoulaye Faye.