The English Press Hyped My Like Ronaldo & Messi - Ex-England InternationalFormer England international Joey Barton has revealed that the press in Scotland hyped him and made the fans think of him like Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Barton part-ways with Rangers last month following a training ground clash involving Andy Halliday after a heavy 5-1 defeat to bitter rivals Celtic in September. The former Queens Park Rangers midfielder played just eight matches for the Glasgow outfit but insists he does not regret signing for the club.
"I'd still have signed for Rangers - it was an opportunity that I couldn't pass," Barton told BBC Radio 5 live.
"It's a great football club, it's somewhere if they get it right it is a phenomenal place - it's completely unique. [But] the media were quite critical of me when I was up there.
"That's the nature of the industry when you're Joey Barton and you go and play for Rangers who are a massive club in Scotland. You're going to get criticism if you don't play fantastically well and I didn't play fantastically well there, albeit I only lasted eight games.
"The difficulty for me lay in the fact that before I went up there they kind of built me into this Neymar, Messi kind of player, which I wasn't.
"I'm a player that's never been blessed with an enormous amount of talent, speed, tricks. I'm somebody who has always served the higher purpose in terms of the team, always done well when that's been at the fore. I've never done particularly well when the onus has been on me to go on and create and do things.
"Everyone was saying 'you've been caught out by the standard of Scottish football, you've looked down your nose at Scottish football'. I didn't. I knew what I was getting into."
Barton is currently a free agent and training with former club Burnley whom he helped gain promotion into the premier league.