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El Hadji Ousseynou Diouf (born 15 January 1981 in Saint-Louismarker) is a Senegalesemarker footballer who plays as a forward for English Premier League club Blackburn Roversmarker. Diouf is known for his versitality, and he can play on both wings and as a forward.

Club career

Early career

Diouf started his career in France with Sochaux-Montbéliard. He made his first appearance in 2-1 win against Bastia on 12 November 1998, before moving to Stade Rennes for the 1999-00 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.

Liverpool

Liverpool bought Diouf from Lens for £10 million, prior to Senegal's impressive 2002 World Cup run, despite having talks with Charlton. Then coach Gérard Houllier put his faith in Diouf and made the choice to sign him and not take up the option of permamently signing loan star Nicolas Anelka. Diouf was originally signed as a striker but ended up being utilised mainly on the right wing. Diouf scored just six goals in his first season including three in the Worthington Cup. Liverpool went on to defeat Manchester United 2-0 in the final at the Millennium Stadiummarker that year, ensuring he got a medal after starting in the final.

In the 2003/04 season, he became the first Liverpool player to wear the number nine shirt to fail to score a goal in an entire season. He made 33 appearances and went over 14 months without a goal. Despite his impressive start to his Liverpool career where he scored a brace on his Anfieldmarker debut against Southampton F.Cmarker, he only managed 6 goals in 80 appearances, failing to live up to expectations. Toward the end of his spell at Liverpool new manager Rafael Benítez loaned Diouf to Bolton Wanderers on a season-long loan.

Bolton Wanderers

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 Stadiummarker. 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.

Sunderland

Diouf signed for Sunderland on 28 July 2008, after Bolton agreed to a transfer fee of £2.6 million. He signed a four year contract at The Stadium of Light after undergoing a medical. Diouf revealed that he was happy to join Sunderland. Former Sunderland manager, Roy Keane, said he was happy that a player who "teams and supporters hate" had joined Sunderland, "El-Hadji has always been the kind of player opposition teams and supporters hate, a thorn in the side. That's why we're delighted to now have him in our squad."

Blackburn Rovers

Diouf signed for Blackburn Rovers for an undisclosed fee on 30 January 2009 after just 6 months at the Stadium of Lightmarker, rejoining ex-manager Sam Allardyce, after the short time with Sunderland. He wears the number 18 shirt. He scored his first goal for the club against Fulham at Craven Cottagemarker on 11 March. During the summer transfer window, Rovers manager Sam Allardyce revealed that Diouf was acquired for only £1 million pounds.Diouf scored his first home goal for Roversmarker at Ewood Parkmarker in the clubs 3-1 victory over Wolves on 12 September 2009.

Controversies

Diouf's professional career has been constantly overshadowed by controversy. During his time at Sochaux, he was involved in a succession of minor transgressions. This resulted in a move to Rennes. However, during his time at his new club Diouf, who was driving without a license, was involved in a car crash. Taking into account his age and evident remorse, the French courts sentenced Diouf to community service rather than prison. He later left Rennes for Lens, where he rebuilt his career.

During the start of his early Premier League career, Diouf was involved in several incidents where he spat at fans and opposition players. Once on 13 March 2003, whilst playing for Liverpool, he was involved in a incident when he was accused of spitting at Celtic fans during a televised UEFA Cup quarter final. His club fined him two weeks' wages, UEFA gave him a 2 match ban, and Diouf was charged with assault. Although Diouf initially pled not guilty, he later changed his plea to guilty, and was fined £5,000. Diouf issued a personal apology to the fan 2 days after the incident, and invited him to attend the second leg of the quarter final at Anfieldmarker as his personal guest in order to maintain the "special relationship" between the clubs. Whilst he was on loan at Bolton, Diouf was again charged by the police for spitting at Middlesbrough fans during a 1-1 draw in November 2004. 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 3 games by the FA after pleading guilty to a charge of improper conduct. De Zeeuw said that spitting in the modern game "shouldn't happen. It is unsportsmanlike, ridiculous and cowardly... I am just very disappointed with him". Diouf's Bolton team-mate Gary Speed said "It's something that you can't defend. To be on the receiving end of that is probably the worst thing that can happen to you. It's something that nobody wants to see in football." Bolton manager Sam Allardyce later revealed that he considered sending Diouf to see a sports psychologist.

On 20th August, Diouf was questioned by police after allegations that he had made a racial slur to a ball-boy during a match at Everton, calling him 'white boy'. Diouf defended his actions by saying Everton fans were racially abusing him, throwing bananas at him. However, this claim has to be taken with an ounce of scepticism, as (as put by Dara O'Briain in The Guardian) "bananas are pretty traceable. They tend to leave a trail of bananas. And there seem to have been precious few bananas lying round".

International career

Diouf's international career started in April 2000 against Benin. He has earned 41 international caps and scored 16 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 extratime to Turkey. He was also part of the Senegal team which is the runner-up in 2002 African Nations Cup. Diouf was banned from international football for four matches in 2004 for a verbal assault on referee Ali Bujsaim.

In 2004, he was named to the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living footballers selected by Pelé in conjunction with FIFAmarker's centenary celebrations. He is also the youngest player on the list. In October 2007, Diouf retired from international football, stating he had been frustrated by organisational problems with the side. However, Senegal coach Henri Kasperczak announced later in the month that he would name Diouf in the next squad.

On 3 April 2009 he retired from the Senegal national football team after forty one games.

Personal life

Diouf is married and has a daughter, Kenza.His older brother Dame Diouf is also a professional footballer.

Career statistics

98||19||20||10||colspan="2"|-||colspan="2"|-||118||29
 197||25||10||0||13||3||25||3||245||41
     295||44||30||10||13||3||25||3||363||60


References

External links



1998-99 Sochaux-Montbéliard Division 1 16 0 - - - 15 0
1999-00 Stade Rennais Division 1 28 1 1 0 - - 28 2
2000-01 Lens Division 1 28 8 - - - 28 8
2001-02 26 10 - - - 26 10

2002-03 Liverpool Premier League 29 3 3 0 5 3 9 0 46 6
2003-04 26 0 1 0 2 0 4 0 33 0
2004-05 Bolton Wanderers Premier League 27 9 3 0 2 0 - 32 9
2005-06 20 3 - 1 0 6 1 27 4
2006-07 33 5 1 0 1 0 - 35 5
2007-08 34 4 1 0 1 0 6 2 42 6
2008-09 Sunderland Premier League 14 0 1 0 1 0 - 16 0
2009 Blackburn Roversmarker Premier League 14 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 1

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