Joey Barton: 'Scottish media built me up to be a Messi or Neymar'

Joey Barton
Joey Barton's final appearance for Rangers came in the 5-1 defeat to Celtic

Joey Barton says he has no regrets about signing for Rangers despite an unsuccessful spell at Ibrox.

The midfielder, 34, was banned for six weeks by Rangers following a training ground altercation in September, and was later signed off with stress.

Barton's contract was then terminated by mutual consent in November having played just eight matches for the club.

"I'd still have signed for Rangers - it was an opportunity that I couldn't pass," Barton said.

"It's a great football club, it's somewhere if they get it right it is a phenomenal place - it's completely unique.

Barton, who signed for the Scottish club from Burnley in May, added: "I haven't played for a super club in England, I wanted to experience a club of that size, with no disrespect to Burnley.

"Nobody wants to play only eight games for a club, you want to have more of an impact than that.

"I'm incredibly disappointed. Who knows what happens in the future, I don't know where I'm going to be.

"I've got no issue with Rangers, [manager] Mark Warburton or anybody on the board. Life's too short to look back at things."

'I knew what I was getting into at Rangers'

Barton was suspended by the club for a training ground altercation with Warburton and team-mate Andy Halliday in the wake of Rangers' 5-1 thrashing at the hands of rivals Celtic.

The former Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder's performances before the Old Firm encounter - which was to be his final Rangers appearance - had drawn criticism as Warburton's side adjusted to life in the top flight following promotion last season.

"The media were quite critical of me when I was up there," Barton told BBC Radio 5 live.

"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.

Joey Barton
Barton had his Rangers contract terminated following a six-week suspension imposed by the club

"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."

'It will be nice to shut a few people up'

Joey Barton
Barton is back training with former club Burnley

Following his departure from Ibrox, Barton has been training with Burnley, whom he left to join Rangers in the summer, and says he will have no shortage of offers to make a playing return in the January transfer window.

"I'm focussing on the future. I've still got that bit about me where I've got an enormous amount of credibility and clubs want me to come in.

"I've had big clubs picking up the phone and asking what I'm doing in January.

"It's a great time for me. It'll be nice to get a pair of football boots on in January and shut a few people up."

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