16 Nov 2016

Anfield Stunner: Sadio Mane makes shock revelation and admits that despised Liverpool flop is his 'idol'

Sadio Mane has revealed his admiration for one of the most despised players in Liverpool FC history.

In an interview this, Mane - who is nominated for the BBC's 'African Footballer of the Year' award admitted:

"When I was young, El Hadji Diouf was the best player for the national team. He was my idol".

Whatever Liverpool fans may think, Diouf did a great job for Senegal, so Mane's admiration is entirely understandable.

Since leaving Anfield, Diouf has engaged in a continual war of words with both Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard. Here are a few of the ex-Striker's choice comments:

* Jul 2016: "Today you don’t have a bad mentality at Liverpool like Steven Gerrard or Jamie Carragher. You don’t have a bad mentality any more".

* Feb 2016: Responding to Carra's claim that he's one of the worst ever LFC players, Diouf scathed: "The difference between Jamie and me is that I am world-class and he is a sh^t...that writes a book and mentions me all the time".

* Feb 2016: “I carried the national team for many years. He [Gerrard] never has never done anything in the World Cup or the Euros".

It's wrong for Diouf to publicly berate his old team-mates in this manner, but you reap what you sow, and Gerrard and Carragher created this situation with their ill-advised and unprofessional public criticism. For example, in his 2007 autobiography, Gerrard wrote:

"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"

Gerrard's criticism of Diouf was unprovoked, out of order, and arguably driven by hubris, a flaw that seems to afflict many elite footballers. Clearly, Gerrard had no respect for Diouf, and obviously felt no compunction about publicly trashing his reputation. Ditto Carragher, who has also slagged off Diouf publicly without provocation.

Diouf is rightly reviled for some of his past antics (including the disgraceful spitting incident against Celtic), but he is perfectly within his rights to defend himself against unprovoked public attacks.


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