An online tiff between an English footballer and a French humorist is making headlines across France
For those who miss the grotesque, unprecedented, bizarre and unbelievable utterances of former Liverpool footballer Joey Barton, it might amuse them to know that the unorthodox Scouser is still at it in his adopted country.
49-year-old Pierre Ménès (aka “Pierrot le Foot”) is one of the most popular football pundits in France. The columnist, actor and humorist has been writing and talking football in his inimitable and entertaining fashion for decades now, but a recent tweet he broadcast provoked the ire of one of football’s jesters.
Commenting on the fact that leading sports newspaper L’Equipe had published an article featuring the best and the worst of Joey Barton’s outbursts, Ménès commented that this was no surprise as on the field of play, the player was “transparent” and had “nothing to say”.
The throw-away tweet did not go unnoticed by regular tweeter Barton, who took instant umbrage to the overweight pundit’s words and reacted in his bizarre new-found English with a French accent (he even writes in it):
“I’m unsure how you can talk about football? Time for you be quiet and maybe try a salad!”
The thick-skinned journalist opted for a light and ironic tone rather than upping the ante any further:
“I love salad,” he wrote, “but I’m still fat. Can I run with you?”
A tone which fell on deaf ears as Barton continued his tirade: “You didn’t answer my Q? How is it you can talk about football? What teams have you played for? Have you ever kicked a ball?”
… at which point, Pierrot (no stranger to provoking controversy) decided to abandon the handbagging and, switching back to French, wrote: “Right, I’m off to nurse my cold. I’ll leave you with the Twitter King; he seems to be much sharper than me.”
Below: Note Joey Barton’s communication skills in fluent “Eeenglish” as he interviews Olympique de Marseille team-mate striker André-Pierre Gignac: