With the Fifa Soccer World Cup about to start next month in Brazil, we thought we’d take a look at how important languages are for top sportsmen, and in particular soccer players and managers – and the impact of multilingualism on the team’s performance.
In fact, the English Premier League, as a whole, has players from over 70 countries – and more than 300 of them don’t speak English as their first language!
Since communication is key to a sports team’s success, surely any self-respecting – and successful – football manager would have to be multilingual, or at least bilingual? If a manager cannot relate to his players, how can he successfully inspire and lead his team to victory?
Some of the most successful soccer managers are multilingual and one only has to look at the English Premier League teams to confirm this:
Manchester City is a good example of the international flavour of English football. Their manager, Manuel Pelligrini, is Spanish and multilingual. Another top club, Liverpool FC, has Brendan Rogers as their manager. He speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish … and some Italian. Other successful European football clubs can also boast multilingual managers.