Joey Barton has hit back at criticism of him by Thiago Silva by calling the Paris Saint-Germain captain "a p***y" and "another over rated Brazilian".
Silva, 28, launched a scathing attack on Barton, 30, in Tuesday's L'Equipe, saying the Marseille midfielder's recent criticism of Neymar, David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave him "even more desire to win to shut that Englishman up".
"As no-one talks about him, perhaps he enjoys spitting on great players so people know he exists," Silva, who claimed he did not even know Barton's name, added. "What does he know about Brazilian football? I don't remember playing against him in an international."
Barton's reply came via his official Twitter feed: "Thiago Silva. That the same p***y that's been injured all season. Another over rated [sic] Brazilian. Sort your hamstrings out FatBoy..."
Silva has featured 18 times in Ligue 1 this season while Barton has played 17 top-flight games in France since his 12-game suspension - carried over the Channel following his red card in the last match of the 2011-12 Premier League season - ended in November.