J'adore La France! Marseille's player of the month Barton is back in love with football
16:54 GMT, 9 January 2013
17:45 GMT, 9 January 2013
He has only been in France a few months but already Joey Barton has earned the respect of his Marseille team-mates.
The midfielder was named the club's player of the month for December – but apparently nobody had bothered to tell him.
He was taken aback when an interviewer said he had won the award, following Marseille's 2-1 win against second division Guingamp in the Coupe de France.
Honour: Joey Barton was named Marseille's player of the month for December
But Barton, who was kicked out by Queens Park Rangers in the summer following his shameful antics at Manchester City on the final day of last season, was quick to praise his team-mates and reaffirm his love for the Gallic game – and he didn't even put on the dodgy accent this time.
'It's always good that the fans appreciate the job you're doing but for me the most important thing is winning football matches and that's what I came here to do,' he said.
'My role in the team is not to score goals, my role is to help out the team and that means defending and getting the ball and getting some of the great players that we have in our team on the ball.
'The old water-carrier role is one I wasn't really renowned for in England, although I was able to do it.'
Enjoying life: Barton, kicked out of QPR in the summer, spoke fondly about his team-mates and life in France
The 30-year-old added: 'I'm really enjoying my football – it's difficult for me because the change in the culture of football took me a little bit to adapt to.
'But now the team is winning and I don't think we're firing on all cylinders, that's generally a really good sign, when you don't play great but you're winning football matches.
'I believe winning is a habit, the same way losing is. When you get used to winning, you get hungry for success. The team is really together and it's great to be a part of.
'I'm really blessed to play for a great club, play with some great people and some great footballers. Long may it continue.'
Marseille are third in the French top flight, level on points with Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon in a tight title race.