El-Hadji Diouf has reopened his feud with Steven Gerrard, bizarrely blaming the former Liverpool captain for Mario Balotelli’s failure at Anfield.
Balotelli, a £16million flop, ended his nightmare two-year spell at the club with a free transfer to Nice on Deadline Day.
The 26-year-old forward scored twice on his debut at the weekend resulting in a 3-2 win for his new club over Marseille.
Balotelli then claimed his move to Merseyside had been the “worst of his life”.
Diouf, who has been engaged in a war of words with Gerrard ever since being criticised in the midfielder’s autobiography, claimed he had warned Balotelli against joining his former club.
Diouf told L’Equipe: “I told him not to go to Liverpool. It wasn’t made for him, that things couldn’t go well with Gerrard, who has never had his talent and then said negative things about him.
“Gerrard is a jealous man who doesn’t like men of character. Mario is a good person that you should listen to. He’s not a guy who’s going to cause problems in the dressing room.
“There are a lot of things that have been made up about [Balotelli]. People tell tales about him, but they’re often a load of rubbish.”
Diouf also claimed to have spoken to Balotelli about the problems he had gone through during his time at Manchester City. Ballotelli was sold to Milan in 2013
Diouf added: “He was young when he arrived in England, you mustn’t forget that.
“When he had problems at City, when he wasn’t playing, we talked. I told him that it [his form] would come back. Of course it was hard for him, because he’s very sensitive. People perhaps don’t understand that.”