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EL HADJI DIOUF fumed. But he didn't forget.

Scott Brown had just blasted in a beauty in the Scottish Cup Old Firm meeting in February and celebrated with his arms outstretched right in front of his Rangers rival.


Brown subsequently accused Diouf of "trash-talking" thoughout the 2-2 draw. Diouf hit back, claiming Brown and his Celtic mates tried to provoke him into being sent off in his first Old Firm game.


That red card finally arrived in the replay a month later, but Diouf this week spoke exclusively to Ballistic about red cards, rucks and revenge!

Because when Gers were presented with the SPL title trophy in May he made the same gesture to celebrate in a dig at Brown.

Now at Championship side Doncaster, the Senegalese frontman has lifted the lid on his time in Scotland, claiming Celtic's players were intent on kicking him to impress their fans, that referee Calum Murray made "so many mistakes" in the fiery Cup replay, and that he did "nothing wrong" throwing his jersey into the crowd at Parkhead.


Diouf said: "In the first Old Firm game everyone was kicking me because they wanted their fans to like them. They wanted to show how tough they were by kicking me, like Brown did.


"He scored a goal and he came to me and did what he did to celebrate. Everybody saw it.


"But at the end of the season I did what he did to me with the championship trophy. It was a little message from me to him.


"At the end of the season who was crying? Not me, him. I'm more grown-up. Before you do something you have to think about what might happen later."


Diouf laid the blame for the three red cards Rangers got in the Cup replay firmly at the door of Murray.


He said: "I don't want to say the referee was a bad referee, but he made so many mistakes. Look at Madjid Bougherra's red card. It was never a red card.


"But life is like that. We lost that game, but we won the championship. Four years winning the championship and Celtic haven't won one. That's the best thing Rangers can get for their fans."


And the man with the bad-boy image is completely unrepentant about throwing his jersey to the travelling support following Rangers' 1-0 Parkhead defeat.


He added: "Of course I would do that again. I didn't do anything bad. I do it with Doncaster fans, with Liverpool fans, with Blackburn fans, everyone. Some of the Rangers fans live in Australia and they come from there to support the team. They travel from around the world for the games against Celtic.


"The way for me to say thank you to them for doing that is to give them my shirt or my boots.

"I didn't do anything stupid. I didn't make any gesture to the Celtic fans because I know I'm an easy target for them. I only went to the Rangers fans.


"I don't know why the Celtic fans pick on me in particular and not other players. I was treated differently from other players, but that is normal for me now. I have the image, I have a bad-boy reputation, I understand that and I have to live with that, even though I know I'm not a bad boy.


"I know, inside me, I'm very far from a bad boy. The people who know me know who I am and what sort of person I really am.


"People are always surprised. Even here at Doncaster, players in the changing room said 'before you came here, we read what you were like, but you're very different. How come people don't understand you and think you're this bad guy?'. Things like that have happened at a lot of clubs I've been at."


Despite the fact yellow and red cards outnumbered goals in his 22 games in Scotland, Diouf says he has nothing but fond memories of his time north of the border and admitted he twice had the chance to move to Ibrox before he did.


He said: "The memories of my time in Scotland are some of the best in my life. In football winning is more important than anything, and in Scotland I won the League Cup and the championship.


"Rangers are the biggest club I played for. The people who run the club are not only nice people, they're very professional people. They have the biggest fans and they're lovely fans as well.


"I twice had the chance to play for Rangers before, when I left Bolton and when I left Liverpool, and having gone there I'm sorry I didn't go before. I never realised it was going to be as big as it was.


"At the time I didn't want to go because I thought Scotland was only about Rangers and Celtic, but now I know it's more than that. Every game is a big game when you play for Rangers and Celtic. Everyone wants to beat them, the same as everyone wants to beat Manchester United and Chelsea.


"I was surprised at what it was like in Scotland. I know football and I'd played for a big team before in Liverpool. Everyone wanted to beat them and every game was like a cup game.


"I went to Dubai two weeks ago, and I've been on holiday in the USA and Jamaica, and when I'm in these places Rangers fans come to me and say 'I'm a big Rangers fan, thank you for being there and helping us'. It was a lovely moment when that happened.


"Having been there, I say to all my friends, if Rangers come and give you the chance to play there, jump at it because it's one of the biggest and the nicest clubs in the world. Last season I had a proposition from Rangers, but we couldn't agree. So right now I'm helping Doncaster and helping myself.


"I've had a few clubs, but I only support two teams â?? Rangers and Bolton."


Diouf admitted he was surprised at how competitive games in Scotland were and revealed how the Gers backroom team psyched the players into believing they could take the flag.


He said: "Games in Scotland were tough. I remember going to Aberdeen, winning 1-0, a really hard game. Teams like St Johnstone, you looked at them on paper and thought 'that's an easy game', but every game was difficult and that surprised me.


"But we had a good manager in Walter Smith and good staff in Ally, Durranty and Kenny.


"They would say to us 'It's not only about playing Celtic. Celtic is important for us, but it's more important for the fans. And if you lose to Celtic then win ten more games we will win the championship'.


"When Celtic beat us twice last season they thought they were heading for the title, but Walter used to say we were going to do it because we'd win ten games, which would get us the title. And we were unbeaten in the last ten."









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It's a point septic supporters never seem to get into their thick heads, we win titles, but their palyers boast about being better.


More fool them for putting up with a bunch of 'talkers' instead of winners.

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