Days after George Weah was elected as president of Liberia, former Senegal international El-Hadji Diouf joked that he could also become the president of his country in the near future. Many in Dakar felt it was one of the player’s numerous fables but he appears to be serious.
During an interview with a local media, the former Liverpool winger said he was quitting football for politics. “For many years I have been thinking of football, but now I have a new career and that is politics,” he said.
“I made the decision to go into politics because I have people waiting for me to change things in my country and I’m ready to do it because I want to be a soldier for the youths.
“My future is defined. Over the next two years, I will join politics, because I know that from then on, I can change a lot in football. I have a lot of passion for politics and I have people in Senegal who advise me. This is the future for me, because many Senegalese are able to listen to me. I took high level coaching classes but decided not to go on because I have better plans for the things I want to do,” he added.
The 37- year- old was a member of the Teranga Lions that had a fairytale run at the 2002 Fifa World Cup in South Korea / Japan, where they reached the quarterfinals after stunning then title holders France in the opener.
ACLsports contacted a local journalist in Dakar to find out the general opinion about Diouf’s chances of a breakthrough in his new adventure.
“Senegal is quite different from Liberia. We have seen a lot of top players even before El-Hadji Diouf, so he is far from being a national hero in that regard unlike George Weah,” Bah Malick of Solar FM said.
“Secondly, Diouf has a Bad Boy image in the eye of the public. He needs to prove that he has grown into a mature and responsible fellow before he could be accepted.”
Diouf also played for Lens in France, Bolton Wanders, Sunderland and Leeds United in England, among others.