Fabien Barthez playing outfield for Man Utd under Sir Alex Ferguson was pure banter

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Fabien Barthez isn't exactly world famous for playing things by the book.

Barthez's eccentric antics

The legendary France goalkeeper always had a reputation for doing things a little differently and that often fed into his brand of football, which Premier League fans got to experience first hand.

Whether it was conceding a goal to Paolo Di Canio while appealing for offside or making opponents wait an eternity to take penalties, you just knew that Barthez would make for blockbuster viewing.

It shouldn't come as a surprise, therefore, that the World Cup winner actually fancied himself as a decent outfield player and would often pester Sir Alex Ferguson about his ability away from the goal.

Solskjaer has signed a new Man Utd contract (Football Terrace)

Barthez fancied himself outfield

According to the Daily Star, Ferguson once explained: “Other goalkeepers would play safety first, Fabien had a wee bit more. He liked the excitement of taking care of the ball.

“I remember he kept telling me he was a better outfield player. He could play sometimes in Friday morning games before the Saturday game, in small-sided games. He had good feet.”

And remarkably, Barthez did actually get the chance to put his money where his mouth is because Ferguson astonishingly decided to play his number one goalkeeper as a left-winger back in 2001.

Now, as much as we'd love to declare that this happened in a Premier League fixture, the whopping caveat is that Barthez marauding out of goal transpired during a pre-season friendly.

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Barthez playing LW for Man Utd

Nevertheless, footage of Barthez being substituted on to the pitch while United had a 7-1 lead over Team Singapore during a tour of the Middle East doesn't look any less mind-boggling.

The Frenchman was brought on to replace none other than Ruud van Nistelrooy in the closing minutes of the game and immediately received the ball, effortlessly bringing it down from the air.

And true to his apparent claims to be a fantastic outfield player, Barthez proceeded to turn on the style by nutmegging an opposing player within a few seconds of emerging from the bench.

Trust us when we say that seeing Barthez take to the field in an outfield United jersey is just as surreal as we've described, so be sure to check out footage of the hilarious moment down below:

Ferguson's honest reasoning

Sadly, there was to be no goal for Barthez on his expedition into outfield life, though the Red Devils did extent their lead with the Frenchman on the pitch as they eventually ran away 8-1 victors.

According to the BBC, Ferguson said after the game: "He has been pestering the life out of me for ages so thank God that's out of the road now and he can go back in goal.

"He's very capable with the ball, no doubt about that. It was just a bit of fun for Fabien to give him that game because he has been going on about playing out."

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We need a petition to make this happen more often because it's absolute class.

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