Celtic captain Scott Brown has given his thoughts on the recent barracking saga between him and El Hadji Diouf.
Brown rubbished claims in an exclusive interview with the Daily Record. Brown insisted that it was in fact Diouf who started hurling insults in the Scottish Cup game and has hit back claiming the Senegal striker is a spent force.
Brown said: “He has said I was trying to make a name for myself. How ridiculous is that? Did he not see the armband I was wearing? I am captain of Celtic, I play for Scotland. I think I have made my name by now.
“I think it’s more about him trying to make a name for himself again. Let’s face it, he only came to this league because he couldn’t get a game in England. No one would touch him with a bargepole.
“So he’s come up to Scotland to try to make the most of what is left of his career, which isn’t much. Good luck to the lad. I look forward to seeing how it all works out for him.”
Brown stated that the barracking between the two players began after a few minutes into the game, after Diouf claims for a free kick fell on deaf ears.
Brown continued, “It started early in the game when Diouf didn’t get a free kick for a challenge I made on him near the corner flag. He started moaning about that and trying to be the big man. He started trying to trash talk me – saying how much money he has and how I’m skint.
“To be fair I couldn’t really grumble too much – the lad does have a bit of cash! So I didn’t mind it too much but when I gave him a wee bit back he didn’t like it. If you’re going to start giving it out you have to expect to get a bit back but he just couldn’t take it.
“I said something about his diamond tooth and he didn’t seem to appreciate it very much. He said I couldn’t afford one of my own and maybe he’s right.
“Fair play to the guy but if he wants to learn about scoring goals he should nip over to watch us train at Lennoxtown one afternoon and I’ll show him a thing or two about finishing.
“What has he scored? Three goals in three seasons in the Premiership? That’s decent eh?Look, I know I’m hardly the most prolific goalscorer in the world but I’d fancy myself to get more than that down there.”
Brown admitted to the Record’s Keith Jackson that the abuse became more vile as the game continued.
He said: “It became very personal between us very quickly. I was actually quite surprised by just how personal he got and the kind of things he was saying about my family.
“But I’m a big boy. If he wants to go down that road then I’m happy enough to go there too. I’ll always give as good as I get.
“He wanted to drag me into a battle and I was quite happy to oblige him. I think I came out of it on top and he knows it. I don’t want to go into detail about what he said about my family. It was crude and it was vulgar but that’s up to him. Yes, I did respond to him but what did he expect? He just picked on the wrong guy.”
Brown was booked for what referee Calum Murray saw as, an inflammatory celebration.
Brown said: “The celebration was brilliant and I don’t regret it in the slightest. It was the best booking I’ve had in my life. If I’m honest I’m not sure why I was booked because I didn’t move and didn’t say a word. I just turned round and there he was right by my side. I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time. I was probably in a bit of shock at scoring with my left peg! I was delighted with the goal – maybe I just wanted to share the moment with him!
“I wasn’t trying to make him snap or get him sent off. I didn’t think he would spit in my face either because he’s been in enough trouble over stuff like that in the past.
“It was all just a bit of banter as far as I was concerned. I’ve been wound up by loads of people on the park and I’ve done it to more than my fair share of opponents as well. It’s part of the game.”
Brown continued, “I enjoyed the battle. And I’m looking forward to more. But I’m surprised he went running to a newspaper as soon as he was off the park to complain about me. What’s that all about? What happens on the pitch should stay on the pitch but I’m not going to stand quietly back and let him say these things about me without challenging it. If he wants to make this personal then I’m good with that too.”
Brown’s comments will further stoke up the flames of the feud between Diouf and the Celtic captain, and now that Brown has had his say over the issue, both players should now do their talking on the pitch. However I doubt it will end with Brown’s comments and the flames will more than likely be flamed before the cup replay.
Source: Daily Record