With QPR's Joey Barton closing in on a season-long loan move to Marseille, we look at how 10 other British players fared when they plied their trade abroad...
Becks shunned Barcelona for Real Madrid, moving from Manchester United for £25 million in 2003. From a personal standpoint he made a quick impression, notching five goals in his first 16 matches and holding down a regular starting berth alongside the likes of Figo, Zidane and Ronaldo, although as a team Real were knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals and only finished fourth in La Liga. High manager turnover made it a less than ideal environment in the following months, with president Florentino Pérez also resigning from his post in January 2006. That summer saw the arrival of Fabio Capello and, after initial strains between the pair, Capello then relied on Beckham for the latter half of the season as Real secured their first league title since the Brit's arrival. Beckham then signed a deal with MLS to play for LA Galaxy and enjoyed two loan spells in Italy with Milan during the MLS off-season.
Lambert may have only been at Borussia Dortmund for a season, but it was a memorable year. A free transfer from Motherwell, he was deployed as a defensive midfielder by Ottmar Hitzfeld and was given the unenviable task of man-marking Zinedine Zidane in the 1997 Champions League final against Juventus. Lambert, the current Aston Villa manager, was instrumental, setting up Karl-Heinz Riedle for the opening goal and keeping Zidane under wraps as Dortmund ran out 3-1 winners in Munich, with the Scot becoming the first British player to win the Champions League since its inception. Having played in the Bundesliga for a little over a year, Lambert was snapped up by Celtic for a fee in the region of £2 million.
Nicknamed Il Gigante Buono - the Gentle Giant, Charles captured the hearts of the Juventus faithful during his five-year stay with the Italian outfit. He racked up a brilliant goal-scoring record - 93 in 155 appearances - and won the scudetto three times as well as the Italian Cup twice before his departure in 1962. Such was the adoration afforded to him by the Juventus fans, he was voted the club's best ever foreigner, ahead of the likes of Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane, in 1997.
Upon arriving in Germany Keegan was being billed as the "saviour" of Hamburg; he was a big deal and big things were expected of the Liverpool legend. It took time for him to settle (losing to his former club in the European Super Cup and being sent off in a mid-season friendly didn't help), but when he clicked into gear it wasn't long before the hero-worshiping followed. Although the club finished 10th in the league in 1977-78, Keegan's 12 goals helped him scoop the European Footballer of the Year award - an honour he also collected the following season when Hamburg won the league for the first time in 19 years. Keegan's fine form continued into the 1979-80 campaign, with the England man playing a key part as Hamburg reached the European Cup final, before he departed for Southampton that summer.
McManaman was one of the first big names to make the most of the Bosman ruling, leaving Liverpool for Real Madrid on a free in 1999. The winger may have won little with Liverpool, but he made up for a lack of silverware with the Spanish giants, clinching two Champions League winners' medals as well as two La Liga titles in his four years in Spain. A spectacular volley in Real's 3-0 win over Valencia in the European Cup final will be what he is best remembered for, although he will always lay claim to being the first Englishman to win the Champions League with a foreign club in its current format.
When Waddle took the plunge and packed his bags for Marseille he headed to the French club for £4.5 million - the third highest amount ever paid for a footballer at that time. It proved to be a successful mission, the former Spurs and Newcastle man winning three consecutive French league titles (1990, 1991 and 1992). Although Marseille fell short in their bid for European glory in 1991, losing to Red Star Belgrade, Waddle was named European Footballer of the Year and, lest we forget, it was during his time across the Channel that he recorded the song "We've Got a Feeling" with team-mate Basile Boli.
Who knows, had it worked out at Torino maybe Law would not have become a Manchester United legend. It didn't and he remains United's second highest goalscorer of all time. From the outset things seemed to go against Law as he swapped Manchester (City) for Italy in the summer of 1961. Inter were incensed Torino had done a deal for the sought-after striker, claiming he had penned a pre-contract agreement with them. Once that debacle had blown over there was the small matter of performance-related pay - or lack of it if they lost a game - which further frustrated Law. With defences bossing games, Law rarely had the opportunity to showcase his deadly finishing skills, his frustrations finally bubbling to the surface as he handed in a transfer request in April 1962. Once that was rejected, it all came to a head when Law was sent off against Napoli, later finding out coach Beniamino Santos had told the referee to show him red because he was livid with Law for taking a throw in - something he was instructed not to do. Law had seen and heard enough, eventually signing for United for a then new British record fee of £115,000.
After starring for England at the 1990 World Cup, Platt left Aston Villa for Italian outfit Bari. Eleven goals in 29 games could not save his team from being relegated from Serie A but it did show he had adapted to Italian football, so much so that Juventus came knocking. Although not a regular in the starting XI at Juventus, Platt helped the Italian giants land the UEFA Cup, before going on to win the Coppa Italia (1994) during his two-year stint with Sampdoria.
Lineker arrived at Camp Nou on the back of claiming the Golden Boot at the 1986 World Cup. With a reputation as a prolific goal scorer, Lineker was under pressure to perform and he didn't disappoint, firing 21 goals - including a hat-trick in a 3-2 with over rivals Real Madrid - in his first season with the Catalan club. The Copa del Rey and European Cup Winners' Cup followed, before Lineker was pushed out to the wing by Johan Cruyff - a decision which saw Lineker fall down the pecking order. Following a spell with Tottenham, Lineker again headed overseas, enduring an injury-ravaged couple of seasons in Japan with Grampus Eight.
Gazza failed to set the world alight in his first season at Lazio, although he did grab an 89th-minute equaliser to earn his side a point during the Rome derby against Roma, the timing of his first goal for the club proving a masterstroke, even if he'd rather it'd arrived a lot sooner. He struggled to cope in the media spotlight and injuries took their toll - a broken leg keeping him out for the majority of the 1994-95 campaign. Six goals, and 47 appearances after signing for Lazio, Gazza jumped ship for Rangers.