Key players at Liverpool cannot stand Gerrard, claims El-Hadji Diouf
EL-HADJI Diouf has labelled Steven Gerrard "egotistical" and claimed major figures at Liverpool "cannot stand" the current club captain.
Leeds forward Diouf gave an interview to French sports daily L'Equipe in which he defended himself against his bad-boy reputation and hit out at his former Anfield team-mate, who criticised him 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 a***d about putting his body on the line to get Liverpool back at the top."
Diouf said: "What he said is only of interest to him.
"All I worried about was the Senegal team, I took them to the World Cup quarter-finals in 2002.
"I was in Pele's 100 players of the century. Not him.
"I respect him as a footballer, but there is nobody more egotistical than him.
"He does not care about others. I spoke to the major figures at Liverpool and nobody can stand him. And I am not talking about (Jamie) Carragher."
Diouf has had a controversial career since coming into English football with the Reds following that 2002 tournament.
He was embroiled in a series of spitting controversies while with both Liverpool and Bolton, while his time with Blackburn saw him accused of taunting Jamie Mackie as the QPR forward lay on the ground with a broken leg.
The latter incident saw then QPR boss Neil Warnock, now Diouf's manager at Elland Road, compare the player unfavourably to a sewer rat.
Diouf said: "I have done things but others have done worse. I am an easy target, people talk about me no matter what.
"OK, I have hurt people and I regret that. But I have never been to prison, I have never injured anyone on the pitch.
"After people gave me the 'bad-boy' image, I had to deal with it. Bad boy? It makes me laugh.
"It doesn't bother me. I prefer that people talk about me, whether good or bad. I leave my mark wherever I go."