Former Leeds United player El Hadji Diouf inspired to run for presidency of Senegal

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Senegalese footballer El Hadji Diouf could run for the presidency of his home country.

Diouf, now 37, spent two seasons with Leeds United after signing under Neil Warnock in 2012.

The Dakar-born star announced last year that he wanted to become and MP in Senegal - but after former fellow footballer George Weah became president of Liberia, he is setting his sights a bit higher.

He admitted being inspired by Mr Weah and said: "I am looking after myself and my family. For many years I use to think about football but I have a new career and it is a political career.

“I have taken the decision to do politics because I have people waiting for me to change things in my country and I am ready to do that because I want to be the solider of the youngsters."

Last year Diouf revealed he had scrapped plans to go into management because a career in politics is more appealing to him.

He said: "My future is defined. In the next two years I will be joining politics, because I know from that point I can change a lot in football.

"I have a lot of passion for politics, and I have people in Senegal who are mentoring me.

"That is the future for me, because a lot of Senegalese people are able to listen to me.

"I took high-level coaching courses, but decided not to continue since I have better plans on things I want to do.

"But I am always available to advise my team whenever called upon."

Diouf was described as a 'matador' by Warnock during his spell at Elland Road, and he scored several important goals. He was sent off for making a gesture towards Brighton fans while celebrating a goal against them.

In 2013, a club from the African country of Guinea claimed they had signed Diouf, a rumour which Leeds had to strongly refute. He was made available for transfer that summer, and by the end of the year has missed several matches and training sessions due to personal issues. He was given time off by the club to attend Nelson Mandela's funeral.

He did make one further appearance for Leeds, but in May 2014 was released by the club. He then moved to play in the Malaysian Premier League.

A young Leeds fan hit the headlines when he dressed up as his idol Diouf and was pictured with the player.

PIC: PA

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