Marseille challenge excites Barton

New Marseille midfielder, Joey Barton, with Olympique Marseille's President Vincent Labrune, right, and sports director Jose Anigo. Photo: PA

Joey Barton is hoping to follow in the footsteps of other British players to have enjoyed success in France, having completed his move to Marseille.

The out-of-favour QPR midfielder switched nations on Friday on a season-long loan deal, and was introduced to the fans at the weekend.

Never short of a word, Barton has already been fulfilling a number of media duties and today expressed his desire to be the latest Brit to do well across the channel.

Joe Cole had a successful season with Lille last year, while going back further, the likes of Chris Waddle, Trevor Steven and the colourful Republic of Ireland striker Tony Cascarino have all been big hits in Ligue 1.

Speaking to the division`s official website, the 30-year-old said: "English players have done well in France.

"Cole, Cascarino, Waddle, Steven.. French football is top-level football. There is the problem with the cultural differences and the languages and I will have to adapt."

The former Newcastle man believes that will be easy, though, owing to the football-mad nature of his new home.

"Everybody supports the club in this city," he added.

"OM (Olmypique Marseille) has an English feel to it in some ways, with the supporters and the atmosphere.

"OM could be an English club. The club and the city are intrinsically linked. It`s not like London or Paris. Football is integral to the city. When the team wins, the whole city is happy."