LIVERPOOL

Barton tells of how Xabi Alonso "stole" his move to Liverpool

Joey Barton writes in his new autobiography of how the Spanish midfielder secured a transfer to Liverpool in front of him in 2004, and how he then plotted his revenge...

Barton tells of how Xabi Alonso "stole" his move to Liverpool

Joey Barton is a footballer who’s made a career out of controversy. So when his autobiography came out this week, it was anticipated that the book might ruffle a few feathers.

One of the most revelatory chapters of the book includes a section about how Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso “stole” Barton’s dream move to Liverpool in 2004.

Barton Liverpool move 'fell through' 

Barton, who is now playing for Rangers but was suspended from the club last week after a training ground bust-up (which came quite conveniently just a few days before his autobiography was due for release), was playing for Manchester City at the time. Barton claims that he agreed a move with then Reds boss Gerard Houllier before the Frenchman was abruptly sacked.

When Rafa Benitez replaced Houllier shortly after, the Spanish coach went on to sign Xabi Alonso from Real Sociedad instead.

"Xabi and I had history"

‘Xabi and I had history. He blamed me for knocking him out in what he thought was a deliberate clash of heads in one of our earliest contests, and I blamed him for stealing my move to Liverpool,’ Barton said in the book titled, No Nonsense.

‘All that remained to be agreed with City was the fee, when Rafa Benitez took over from Gerard Houllier. I was in Dubai when I was informed that he had instead decided to sign a kid from Real Sociedad who had just broken into the Spanish national team.

‘Whenever we played, I sought to get the game on my terms, which were relentlessly physical.
Thirteen minutes remained [in Liverpool’s match with Newcastle in May 2009]. Liverpool were two up, cruising and playing keep ball. The Kop conducted an incessant, infuriating chant of ‘Ole, ole, ole!’

"I expected a yellow and was shown a red."

‘Xabi retained the ball near the corner flag fractionally longer than was prudent. That gave me the opportunity to fly in, and disguise my malicious intent as best as I could. Alonso milked the moment with a barrel roll. I expected a yellow and was shown a red.’