Former defender Babbel told the Sunday Mail: "I arrived at Blackburn just before Barry but right away I could see he was something special. He's a leader. Barry makes the difference. Even if he's not on top form the other players are still happy he's on the pitch because he has this presence.
"Barry isn't the type of person who will just agree with people for the sake of it. If he's not happy with something he will tell you. If someone isn't playing well or misses a pass or something then he will be shouting.
"He didn't have the captain's armband at Blackburn but doesn't need to have something around his arm to be the way he is. You can see with his body language that he's a leader. He doesn't drop his shoulders, his chest is always out and you can see he's a proud guy.
"Barry is something special. He can score goals, play good passes to create openings and is good at set-pieces. He brings everything to the team. His arms are always up and he tries to get as much out of his team-mates as possible."