Sports

El Hadji Diouf: Tau more talented than Mane, Salah

Cape Town – Former Senegal international El Hadji Diouf has said that Mamelodi Sundowns attacker Percy Tau is more talented than Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and even Mohamed Salah.

Mane and Salah have both been in scintillating form for Liverpool – having reached the semi-finals of the Champions League – with Egyptian Salah the Premier League's current top scorer.

Diouf though appealed to South African footballers to go and seek bigger challenges overseas, a move he says will benefit the Senior National Team.

The Senegalese who also played for Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers and Liverpool said the country had top players but most seemed comfortable playing in the Absa Premiership in favour of bigger clubs overseas.

Diouf was part of the Moroccan 2026 FIFA World Cup bid representatives who visited SAFA House and South Africa on Monday, April 16.

"I always wonder why South Africa cant dominate the continent and world." Diouf said. But players should lead the way by seeking bigger and better challenges overseas.

"When you play overseas, you become hardened, get proper experience and your technical ability will be of the highest standards."

He added that by playing overseas, the countrys national team will benefit immensely from that environment.

"I spoke to Percy Tau and asked him what he was still doing in the PSL. The boy is good enough to play for any team in the world including Real Madrid or any of Englands top sides. The boy is quality," he said.

"I watch South African football regularly and on the continent, this country has probably the most talented players but they seem too comfortable to stay at home instead of looking for greater challenges overseas."

Diouf said when Bafana Bafana played Senegal in the recent FIFA World Cup qualifiers, South Africa played the more enterprising football but lacked the killer punch and experience to bury their opponents.

"South Africa could easily have buried Senegal in two legs but lacked the cutting edge one gets from playing overseas. Look even countries like Uruguay, Brazil or Argentina; almost all of their players play in Europe and that is what South African players must strive to do."

Diouf appealed to local players to not be too comfortable in their surroundings by playing at home.

"South African players play the best football but need that international experience one only gets by playing in big European leagues. I always ask myself why there is no South African playing either in England or Spain yet the country has the most talented players. They are too comfortable playing at home; which is wrong.

"The reason why South Africa did well in mid 1990s and late 90s was because the likes of Lucas Radebe, Benni McCarthy and Aaron Mokoena used to play overseas and their international experience told.

"Tau has no reason to still be playing in South Africa. He is more talented than Sadio Mane or even Mo Salah,” concluded Diouf.

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