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Ginola: Joey 'n Becks are magnifique

Saturday, April 06, 2013 by The Sun


MARSEILLE MARVEL ... Joey Barton has made an impact in France

DAVID GINOLA believes the English revolution is set to continue in France next season.

Joey Barton has made headlines on and off the pitch since securing a loan switch from QPR to Marseille, while 37-year-old David Beckham boosted Ligue 1’s profile by joining big-spending Paris Saint-Germain on a short-term contract.

And Ginola reckons both players may have already done enough to secure extended stays across the Channel.

He told SunSport: “Joey’s had a great season so far and has done great for the club. He’s fighting hard and is the anchorman in midfield.

“He’s got a very important role and you can see that people are relying on him
to organise the game.

“I don’t know how much he’s going to cost, but it’s important that he has shown he’s a good asset.

“David has been fantastic because he has a very different approach to what people thought he would. He’s a big star all around the world but he arrived in Paris with a very humble approach.

“The way he talked about the club and insisted he would try hard in training to prove himself — he wasn’t a guy who arrived and said ‘I’m the best, I’m the most beautiful’.

“That’s why most of the people in France have taken to him. David signing at Paris was probably one of the best PR things ever done in football.

“It’s a new project at Paris, looking ahead to one day try and win the Champions League, so to have Beckham in the equation is very interesting.

“He signed for just five months but has already had a massive impact around the world. Most of the people who didn’t know PSG at the time, they know now.

“Beckham is a very good professional. I spoke 20 minutes with him in Paris and he amazed me by saying he’s going to learn French.

“I think it’s a good thing. If you want to fit into a project and a squad, you have to show that you’re making a significant effort to settle and understand the traditions and a new way of life.

“So far he’s been great. He’s not talking too much, he’s playing football and is focused on what he has to do. This is what people like about him.”

With PSG determined to become one of European football’s great powers,
Ginola insists the presence of Beckham and Barton is vital to Ligue 1’s growing reputation.

He added: “It’s a surprise always to see an Englishman going to play abroad, especially in France.

“Not so many have done it in the past and I think in the last five years there has only been Joe Cole, who played for Lille.

“Joey Barton’s move came out of the blue because I thought he was a really English, proper man playing in the English Premier League.

“It was a good surprise and gives the people in France the opportunity to see someone from one of the best competitions in the world.”

Barton, 30, has been dogged by controversy throughout his career.

And Ginola believes the midfielder’s latest Twitter outburst, in which he labelled
PSG star Thiago Silva an ‘overweight ladyboy’, proves he should let his feet do the talking.


HUMBLE ... David Beckham's has won over the French fans

The former Tottenham and Newcastle star, 46, said: “They are a very hot people in Marseille in the South of France. It’s the mentality there and Joey fits in with every single aspect of what they like.

“So far he has done great, but I think he should concentrate more on what he has to do on the pitch.

“I heard about the problems he had on Twitter recently and was talking about things which I don’t think a footballer should.

“When you have to say something, you should do it with your feet on the football pitch.”

Like Beckham, Barton is determined to master French as he bids to secure a full-time switch to Marseille.

But the Liverpudlian’s approach to TV interviews for his new club surprised Ginola — and left him with a smile on his face.

He added: “Joey did an interview in English with a French accent — that’s a bit weird!

“I interviewed him myself a few weeks ago and we exchanged a few words in
French. One of the questions I asked was about how he tried to speak in English with a French accent.

“I was thinking about how difficult it would have been trying to do an interview in French with an English accent when I arrived in Newcastle in 1995.

“He laughed but explained that for him it is the first step towards understanding French. He’s got a few words, some bad words, the first words you normally learn.

“He’s really enjoying himself and Marseille is a very warm, welcoming city.”

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