Barton targeting fresh start with Marseille: 'I am not in France to make friends'

The controversial midfielder completed a season long loan move to the Ligue 1 outfit on deadline day and hopes to leave his previously 'stupid' behaviour behind
Joey Barton has warned that he has no interest in making friends at Marseille following his season long loan move to the Ligue 1 club from QPR.

The controversial midfielder fell out of Rs boss Mark Hughes' first team plans due to both the lengthy suspension that he is currently serving for violent conduct and the productive transfer window that the Loftus Road side enjoyed.

And the former Manchester City man expressed regret over his previous behavior at his unveiling in France before outlining his intention to get a fresh start at the Stade Velodrome.

"My problem [in England] is that sometimes I was stupid," he told the assembled press. "I must correct it. But people who know me, who have played with me, know what kind of man I am, what kind of teammate I am. In England, the press and the media don't know that I'm not a bad boy but fortunately in France, the people will judge me fairly. It's easier for me to play football in this case. The most important thing for me is my career. I want to play football."

"I want to play more games - I play football to win, not make friends. I hope I'll be able to quickly contribute to Marseille's success this season. It is time for me to stop talking and prove it with my actions. I am not coming to France to make friends or go on vacation. I want to play football, to show that I am a true professional who engages in a club and in the game."

The 30-year-old went on to describe joining the French side as an "honor" and revealed his excitement upon first hearing of the club's interest.

"I'm glad to have the opportunity to work at a big club like Marseille," he enthused. "It is an honor to see the stadium. The training center is very impressive. When my advisor told me about the opportunity to play in Marseille, I did not have to think - I went for it. The minute I heard about the interest of the club for me, I wanted to come."

The Huyton born midfielder is also targeting a speedy return to fitness following his lengthy spell on the sidelines.

"I was suspended for 12 games after the match against Manchester City, which leaves nine [now] - eight after this weekend," he continued. I've had a long summer. 10 weeks is not good, I have to work physically."

"We should also know [soon] if the suspension covers the league and the European Cup or just the league. This may give me time to get back in shape. The most important thing is to get physically fit, the sooner the better. I cannot wait to play for this club, see the stadium and give everything for this club."

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