English soccer player Joey Barton is known for being among the roughest, some say dirtiest, players in the beautiful game. But Barton may have turned over a new leaf with his current club Marseille as he showed a considerably lighter side during a press conference after his first league game over the weekend.
Barton showed some of the characteristic dry English humor as he gave the press conference in a French accent that caused a sensation over the Internet as video of the presser went viral.
Reaction to the prank has been mixed, with some taking the faux accent as insulting while others think it genius. Barton explained his action on Twitter:
“In my defense, it is very difficult to do a press conference in Scouse for a room full of French journalists. The alternative is to speak... like a 'Allo Allo!' character which is choose. It’s simply a case of you had to be there,” said the former Manchester City player born in Merseyside.
In any event, Barton making news for a press conference is a step up from the player making news for reprehensible on-field actions like his expulsion from the last game of the Premier League season last season when he elbowed Carlos Tevez, kicked Sergio Aguero and tried to headbutt Vincent Kompany.
- Joey Barton is the latest heir in a legacy of English troublemakers. Barton often clashes with rivals and teammates alike. Most infamously, he served a six month sentence for assault in 2008 stemming from a bar fight. Photo: Getty Images
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the tamest of the men on this list, but his attitude on and off the field have made him one of the most hated men in soccer. He is called "dirty" by most of his opponents, while he continues to trash former teams, especially Barcelona. Photo: Getty Images
- Roy Keane is infamous for his outbursts on and off the field. He was sent home form the 2002 world cup after telling his manager Mick McCarthy "you can stick this world cup up your arse." He was also responsible for a career ending tackle against Alf-Inge Haaland in retribution for an injury he had received. Photo: Getty Images
- George Best is known as one of the premier "bad boys" in soccer, most famously phrased in his quote ""I spent 90% of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted". His heavy drinking would affect his career, and ultimately lead to his early death at the age of 59. Photo: Getty Images
- Diego Maradona often had troubles on and off the field for his statements and his drug addiction. He served a 15 month suspension in 1991 for testing positive for Cocaine and was sent home from the 1994 World Cup after testing positive for ephedrine. He would suffer serious health issues after his career due to his drug use, and he continues to be a controversial figure most recently as the head coach of the Argentinean national team. Photo: Getty Images
- Paul Gascoigne never reached his potential on the field due to mental problems, including alcoholism, that plagued him during his career. Throughout his life he has been convicted for drug possession and driving under the influence. Photo: Getty Images
- Paolo Di Canio had several controversial instances as a player, including pushing referee Paul Alcock and giving a Nazi salute during a match that resulted in an eleven-game suspension. As a manager he has continued to be controversial for his verbal abuse of his players. Photo: Getty Images
- John Terry stands out amongst his controversial teammates for the stretch of his incidents from sleeping with his teammates girlfriends, racially abusing opponents and mocking 9/11 victims. Photo: Getty Images
- Rene HIguita, best known for his scorpion kick against England, has tested positive for cocaine on various occasions. More infamously, he was arrested in 1993 after getting involved in kidnapping. Photo: Getty Images
- Eric Cantona will always be remembered for his karate kick against a fan while playing for Manchester United, resulting in an assault charge and ban. Photo: Getty Images
- One of the classic bad boys of Brazilian soccer, Garrincha died due to his alcoholism of cirrhosis of the liver in 1983. He faced many problems due to his drinking, including a car crash that killed his mother in law. He had various affairs that resulted in him allegedly fathering at least 14 children. Photo: Getty Images
- Edmundo had various issues with the law, some much more serious than others. In 1999 he faced prosecution for getting a chimpanzee named Pedrinho drunk on whiskey and beer, while escaping prison in a charge related to a car crash that resulted in the deaths of three passengers. Photo: Getty Images
- The original bad boy, Heleno de Freitas, was a Casanova off the field resulting in the nickname Gilda while facing fines on the field for his constant fights with opponents and officials. His wild antics would catch up to him, dying of syphilis at the age of 39. Photo: Getty Images
- Mario Balotelli tops the list of the current bad boys from setting fire to his house with fireworks, constantly getting ejected in key matches and telling police he carries thousands of dollars in cash "because he is rich", the Italian striker reaches back to a former era of irreverent bad boys in the world of soccer. Photo: STEFANO RELLANDINI / REUTERS
Joey Barton is the latest heir in a legacy of English troublemakers. Barton often clashes with rivals and teammates alike. Most infamously, he served a six month sentence for assault in 2008 stemming from a bar fight.
Photo: Getty Images