From the publishers of THE HINDU

VOL.34 :: NO.41 :: Oct. 13, 2011

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FOOTBALL / STARWATCH

Barton hoping for England call

The Liverpool-born midfielder says he is loving life at QPR and embracing everything that London has to offer.

Recent QPR signing Joey Barton would welcome another England call-up and could see himself playing into his forties. The 29-year-old moved to west London in the summer from Newcastle, where he had performed with aplomb over the past two seasons.

Barton's form on Tyneside has been complemented by impressive performances in his short time with QPR, which has led to calls for the midfielder to add to the lone England cap he won in 2007.

“It would be great to play for England again,” Barton said. “I feel really sharp, as I should do having just turned 29 and I'm enjoying my football. I think I'll play until I'm about 38 or 40 because my game is not based on pace or power, it's all about knowledge of football and manipulating the ball. So I'm confident I can play for a long time.

“If I decide to coach or manage in the future, it would be quite prudent to have experienced a different culture or philosophy of football. Or even just experiencing how the approach changes when you manage players from different backgrounds or cultures. If the opportunity arose to play abroad in the future I'd definitely consider it.”

Barton joined QPR in late August and has since been appointed captain. The Liverpool-born midfielder says he is loving life at the club and embracing everything that London has to offer. “I like to jump on the tube but I haven't got an Oyster card yet,” he said.

“I'm not a big fan of driving so once I get the internet set up at my new place I'll order my Oyster card and get going properly on the buses and the underground. I'm not attracted by the bright lights of the city but there are things in this place I want to do to broaden my horizons.

“I was in Soho the other day and there's loads of characters around there. I like people-watching and was able to look at everyone and think ‘maybe I'm not as peculiar as I once was'. At the moment it feels great to be here. There's a lot more to see and do in London and that appeals to me.

“But don't get me wrong, I also like to sit in on a Saturday night watching X-Factor and Match of the Day. But I have an amazing opportunity at QPR to live in a great city and start a family here. Life's good.”

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