So, what's problem child Joey Barton up to as he nears the end of his season-long exile in France? Coming up with some truly unique insults, that's for sure.
Barton, toiling away on loan to Marseille after burning one of his last bridges at QPR, got into a war of words with Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva last month. In a newspaper interview, Silva said
"There is a Marseille player, I cannot remember his name, an Englishman, who has said bad things about Neymar and Brazilian football, and also about Beckham and Ibrahimovic.
"Because no one is talking about him, it seems it is fun for him to criticise great players for people to know he exists."
After PSG drew with Barcelona in their Champions League quarterfinal, Barton tweeted a classic tweet:
All heck broke loose from there. Barton apologized, but PSG put out a statement threatening legal action. Barton went before the French soccer's ethics committee, but they said they couldn't discipline him because his remarks were in English. L'Equipe ran a fun little front page:
Today, the FFF's ethics committee reversed its previous stance, and handed Barton a two-match suspended ban. He can continue to play unless get gets in any more trouble, and considering Marseille only have three matches remaining, even he might be hard-pressed to violate his probation.