One question dominated Brazilian twitter in the aftermath of England's victory at Wembley last night. "Who is Joey Barton?" Some liked his criticism of Neymar, others think he had no right. Everyone went bananas for the Marseille player's claim that the starlet played in the "Amazon jungle league." So here are the top 10 reasons why the hosts of the next World Cup have more interesting tournaments than that form of torture (not recognised by the Geneva Convention yet) where Barton plays.
10 - Brazilian clubs win trophies abroad
Let's stick to the last 20 years, because that is when a French club actually won ONE important piece of silverware. Brazil's Corinthians beat Chelsea in Japan two months ago for the FIFA Club World Cup. Ronaldinho's Barca lost to Internacional in 2006 and Liverpool couldn't stop Sao Paulo FC in 2005. Ask Marcelo Lippi how he stopped Ajax in the 1996 Champions League final. It was after seeing Luiz Felipe Scolari's Gremio play the Dutch in 1995. Marseille won the European Cup in 1993. Can anyone else remember of something important coming from French clubs since then? I can't.
9 - No one gets seven titles in a row
Sao Paulo won three Brazilian leagues in the last decade. It was the first time that ever happened in Brazil. Not that the world cares a lot much, but Lyon won countless trophies in France in the last decade. Sorry for their fans, but if your team wins the league every year it is a big sign your league sucks. Not even Barcelona does that.
8 - There are no clubs in the "Amazon jungle"
Barton probably doesn't know the difference between jungle and rain forest anyway, so I will stick to the point. Most of the clubs are on the coast, next to beaches (I mean proper beaches, not fancy resorts in Cote d'Azur). There are practice sessions on the beach. How cool is that?
7 - Brazilian clubs never needed English players
The clue is in the title.
6 - No magnates, just clubs
Brazilian clubs are real clubs. They don't rely on foreign money to operate. Players actually go to the clubs they love to look for a break. You are never going to see "Corinthians offers £1 billion for Barcelona." Sorry, PSG. You are not that cool.
5 - Playing in the next World Cup stadia
There is actually one stadium in the Amazon. And Brazil's biggest dilemma is what to do with it - there are no clubs in the Amazon. Most of the other ones are opening as the World Cup approaches.The Velodrome isn't that bad. But it is so... 1998.
4 - Playing with the shirts of real legends
Pele's number 10 at Santos, Zico's number 10 at Flamengo, Garrincha's number 7 at Botafogo. These are all mythical jerseys. The next guy to wear Barton's shirt at Marseille will be probably as irrelevant as him.
3 - No snow. Ever.
Does anyone believe playing a match under snow makes anyone a better player? Only someone with a brute self-centered mindset could agree. Skills are more important and in the Brazilian league they prevail most of the time.
2 - There is thrill until the end
Four out of the last five leagues in Brazil were decided in the last round. Mostly with three teams fighting for the title. Should I really describe what happens in France most of the time? It makes me want to sleep just to think of the early deciders.
1 - The best French players always leave
It is a changing world, my friends. Brazil keeps their players longer. France sends most of them abroad. Ligue 1 is so desperate for players it actually gets someone like Joey Barton. After all, he is no... no... no one.