It’s an easy way to win over Marseille fans—slagging off anyone or anything connected to Paris Saint-Germain—but the truth is, everyone connected to Marseille loved Joey Barton before he called Thiago Silva an “over-rated Brazilian” and “ladyboy” on Twitter last week.
Barton basked in the ovation he received when he came on as a substitute in Marseille’s 1-0 win over Bordeaux last weekend. It was his first game since his latest high-profile Twitter row with the Brazilian defender, who riled up the midfielder with an interview in L’Equipe in which he talked about Barton but refused to mention his name.
“There’s a Marseille player whose name I don’t recall, he’s English, who has been speaking badly about Neymar and about Brazilian football in general and even about Beckham and Ibra,” Silva said.
“The thing is, no-one speaks about him, so it must amuse him to perhaps spit on great players so that people know that he exists. What this guy should never forget is that there are more stars on the Brazil jersey than on any other football shirt. It makes me want to win [the World Cup] even more to shut that Englishman up. What does he know about Brazilian football? I don’t remember having played against him for the national team.”
At that stage, Barton would have been wise to keep quiet, as he had clearly got under Silva’s skin. But that is not the Barton way. As he put it in a rare interview with Sport & Style magazine last week: “Being on Twitter is like giving a box of matches to an arsonist but at the same time, it’s done me a lot of good because without having a journalist in front of you who already has an idea of what he wants to write, you’re able to control the message: and that’s me.
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