El-Hadji Diouf takes opportunity to slate retiring Steven Gerrard - "He was nothing at all!"
Steven Gerrard's announcement that he was hanging up his boots would have been the perfect time for former teammate and perennial foe El-Hadji Diouf to bury the hatchet.
But letting bygones be bygones is not Diouf's strong suit and he took the opportunity to dig the sharp blade deep into Gerrard's back as he offered the latest scathing criticism of the legendary Liverpool captain just hours after he'd revealed his retirement plans.
It's well documented that Diouf did not get along with Gerrard, or Jamie Carragher for that matter, during his time on Merseyside and in a sensational interview on French TV channel SFR Sport on Thursday evening, he claimed that Gerrard "was afraid of looking into my eyes."
"People told me at Liverpool, there was some guys you could not touch, but I touched them," Diouf continued. "That is why it was complicated for me."
Alongside Diouf on the show was former Arsenal and France player Emmanuel Petit, who sounded in genuine disbelief at Diouf's comments about an all-time Premier League great.
"Are you talking about Steven Gerrard?" Petit asked.
"I do. Stevie G and Jamie Carragher, the two scousers," Diouf brashly answered.
A frosty relationship has always been shared by Gerrard and Diouf but things got even uglier after the former hit out at the latter in his autobiography, which prompted the former Senegal international to accuse Gerrard of racism.
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) September 15, 2015
"I am not a scouser," Diouf continued. "I did not come to Liverpool to buy a house and live there in the future."
From the outset, the personalities of Diouf and Gerrard clashed and it sounds like that's certainly going to carry into retirement.
“When I arrived I showed him he was nothing at all. He was nothing at all," Diouf said.
Gloriously deluded El Hadji Diouf has hit out at the mentality of Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard https://t.co/FjzlrAiAoV
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) July 1, 2016
“I asked him to tell me in which big competition, Euros or World Cup, people think about him.”
Diouf put it to Petit to name the trophies won by Gerrard to prove that he was a legend of the game and when the Frenchman hesitated, Diouf took that as the evidence necessary for his argument.
“Here is the proof, even you cannot remember,” Diouf said.
“You are talking about Euros and World Cup. Today I owe you respect, I owe respect to Mr Zidane because you did win the World Cup."
Petit refused to stand for the Gerrard bashing, especially on the day that was in it, and he interjected.
“I cannot let you say that about Steven Gerrard, he was an immense player," Petit said.
But Diouf would not be swayed and hammered home his point by repeating how he never respected the Reds legend as a man.
“I repeat. I respect the player, very big player, but the man, I do not respect. And I told him, I let him know that," Diouf continued.
“With all my respect I let him know. For me in Liverpool, he was not just a player like anyone else. He had to work and play his football as I had to work and play my football.
“Then as you know, there were some brown-nosers, who went to the manager to repeat what I said. That was the real problem. When Gerrard did that, we had an argument, like real men.
“That is why he does not like me. He knows I say what I think, that when it is not right, no problem, I am up for it.
“He could not, he was afraid of looking into my eyes. He was afraid of talking to me. Let's not forget when I arrived I did not ask for his shirt. He asked for my Senegal shirt for one of his mates.”
Dick Clerkin makes his GAA Hour debut to talk about a wonderful career and argue passionately with Colm Parkinson over Sky Sports GAA. Subscribe here on iTunes.