Football - Barry poised to enter 500 club

Roberto Martinez has paid tribute to Gareth Barry on the eve of a game which is likely to see the Everton midfielder join the elite band of players to have made 500 Barclays Premier League appearances.

PA Sport Report

Should, as expected, Barry feature for the Toffees against Newcastle on Monday night he would become just the 10th player since the Premier League's inception in 1992 to have played in 500 games, putting him in the company of the likes of Ryan Giggs, Frank Lampard and former Everton utility man Phil Neville.

The 32-year-old burst on to the scene with Aston Villa in 1997 and was a part of Manchester City's title-winning squad in 2012 prior to his summer loan move to Goodison Park.

His departure came as a shock to some in the City camp, according to Everton full-back Leighton Baines, and Martinez sees no indication Barry's talent will wane.

"I don't think there are many more significant records than that," the Everton boss said of Barry's potential landmark on Monday.

"I think it represents his professionalism, the way he looks after himself, the way he sees the game and the experience that he brings into any side.

"And you can add the 50 appearances he's had for England, so far. He's in such a great moment in his career."

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