Interviewed for the Evening Standard by the former BBC sports editor Mihir Bose, Barnes attributes England's woeful performance in the World Cup to the Premier League and its fostering of superstardom. What English football needs, says Barnes, is more socialism:
"Football is a socialist sport. Financially, some may receive more rewards than others but, from a footballing perspective, for 90 minutes, regardless of whether you are Lionel Messi or the substitute right-back for Argentina, you are all working to the same end.Well said, John. I can almost forgive you for that Mars advert now.
"The teams which embrace the socialist ideology rather than having superstars, are the teams that are successful. Or if there are superstars they don't perceive themselves to be that. That's why I use Messi as an example. As much as he's a superstar he respects his team-mates and their collective efforts....
"Players from other nations when they play for their country are once again a socialist entity, all pulling in the same direction. The most important thing for every Brazilian player is to play for Brazil."
This blogpost is second in an occasional series on Unlikely Socialists - people who self-identify as socialists, whose idea of socialism I more or less agree with, and who are fairly famous and respected by the mainstream. The aim of this thread is to help rehabilitate the label "socialist" to something that more people will be proud to call themselves.