Joseph Anthony Barton has always been a multi-faceted footballer.
To wit, during a glittering career in English football, the Englishman was an instigator of handbags and a near-riot, a stomach-puncher, an inmate, a training-ground fighter and, let's never forget, race horse owner.
Now that he's in France, add to that list this new distinction: Native English speaker with a French accent.
Metro points us to this gem, unearthed over the weekend as Barton made his first Ligue 1 match with Marseille. Barton, as you'll recall, joined the French club from Queens Park Rangers at the summer deadline after being banned 12 matches for his role in starting that near-riot with Manchester City last spring.
It turned out he had to serve the ban regardless of the transfer, and at long last Barton finally had the chance to play for his new club over the weekend. Afterwards, he gave an interview at the post-match press conference.
The twist: Barton spoke with a French accent.
He was speaking English, mind you. It's not like he was speaking French with an English accent. He was speaking his native language with an accent that landed somewhere between Liverpool and France's south coast.
Smooth move, Monsieur. Barton's French accent appears in the video above. The clip serves as our Set Piece Video of the Day for this Tuesday. Enjoy.
As Metro pointed out, Barton's adventures in accent brought to mind a similar episode involving former England manager Steve McClaren, who now works in Holland. Fortunately, Barton took to Twitter to defend his honor.
In my defence, it is very difficult to do a press conference in Scouse for a room full of French journalists. The alternative is to speak...— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) November 26, 2012
The next tweet finishes the thought with "...like a 'Allo Allo!' character which is choose. Its simply a case of you had to be there. !"
So there you have it. If you're Joey Barton, it apparently makes sense to fake a French accent while speaking English in a press conference—and then insult everyone else.
As always, stay classy, Joey.