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Diouf: Premier League Bad Boy
To use an old cliché: "last but by no means least" on a list of controversial Sunderland alumni comes El Hadji Diouf, who probably would have found his way onto the chart even if he hadn’t been directly on the books of the club.
Wherever the Senegalese attacker goes, controversy is sure to follow and Diouf’s time in the North East was no different. After all, a player has to do something to entertain himself.
Diouf has earned a reputation for being one of the most foul-mouthed, overly-aggressive, unnecessarily lewd and rebellious faces in not just England, but across world football over the past decade.
Arguing with opponents and fans became a not too uncommon feature of the winger’s career as years rolled by, but Sunderland brought Diouf’s argumentative nature to a whole other level, when he threatened to stab teammate Anton Ferdinand.
The incident occurred in a post-match meal following a victory over Fulham and should the African forward have waited just a few more days to vent his frustrations, he may have lasted considerably longer with the Mackems.
However, as it was, Diouf timed his attack during the January transfer window and after spending just six months at the Stadium of Light, then-manager Ricky Sbragia jumped at the chance to sell his "asset" to Blackburn for a fee of around £2m.
El Hadji Diouf is disliked and hated by more clubs, players and officials than my fingers have the stamina to type and is, without a doubt, a huge contender for the title of most controversial player ever to have donned the red and white of Sunderland AFC.