Joey Barton has branded Neymar “the Kim Kardashian of football” and insists he could train former club Marseille “without any problem”.
The outspoken Barton criticised Neymar in an interview with L’Equipe, insisting the Brazil international does not deserve to be considered on the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
He also weighed in on the Paris Saint-Germain forward’s performances at the World Cup, where he came in for criticism for his on-field behaviour as Brazil were knocked out in the quarter-finals.
However, the Fleetwood Town boss did call a Neymar a “phenomenon” in one respect – promoting his brand!
“I think he is the Kim Kardashian of football,” Barton – who won a solitary cap for England during his playing career – claimed.
“Neymar is not the best player in the world, we saw that again in Russia. He is not at the level of Ronaldo and Messi, and there are many other players in front of him.
“Neymar, more than a football phenomenon, is an advertising phenomenon, like the Kardashians.”
While Barton is not likely to come up against Neymar anytime soon, he admits he would relish the chance to coach Marseille after spending the 2012-13 season on loan there during his playing career.
The former Manchester City and Burnley midfielder is only in his first season with Fleetwood – who play in the third tier of English football – but already feels he could cope with the challenge of taking charge at the Ligue 1 heavyweights, mainly due to his thorough understanding of how the club works.
“I would love to coach Marseille one day. Honestly, I could train Marseille without any problem,” Barton said.
“I know the club from top to bottom. I understand the people, the culture, I know the Velodrome and I know what the club means to people.
“Many Marseille coaches did not know the club. If my trip brings me back there, fantastic.”