With many pro teams having players of different nationalities, one thought that might have crossed your mind is how do soccer players communicate with each other.
After all, if you had someone who was American but then someone who was Spanish, the likelihood they would be able to speak with each other would be quite low.
Soccer, though, is a bit unique sport, as no matter where you are from, any two players who play the game can do certain actions to converse with their teammates.
However, what exactly are these ways, and how can players of different nationalities play a game of soccer without any problems, despite the language barrier.
In this post, I will be shedding light on how players can communicate with each other and how the language obstacle is tackled.
How Do Soccer Players Communicate With Each Other?
When on the pitch, soccer players will communicate with each other by using a combination of hand gestures and words.
These are two important aspects of playing the game as it allows you to instruct and organise your teammates.
Shouting is very common within soccer, as it alerts a player straight away to act upon something.
For example, if you are through on goal, you might shout to your teammate to alert them that you are in a good position to receive the ball.
Another one will be if you are defending a set piece.
If someone has lost their marker, then you might shout to get them organised so that the player doesn’t end up scoring against you.
While players will often speak the same language, even though it is to a very basic level, gestures are universally used within football because nearly all players know what they mean.
So if someone puts their hands up, points or even waves their hands, then other players will be able to recognise this and will know exactly what they mean.
For instance, if you’re making a darting run into the box, and let’s say you wanted the ball to be crossed in, you might point down on the floor just in front of you.
This will tell the player who is on the ball what you want them to do and where you want the ball to be placed.
What Language Do Soccer Players Talk To Each Other?
Soccer players will try to converse with each other in the language of the country they are playing.
So in the Premier League and the MLS, players will converse in English.
However, in countries where English isn’t the primary language, it will be the primary language spoken across the leagues.
It sounds quite straightforward.
But within football, it is also quite rare especially high up for clubs to field 11 players who are all native speakers.
This is because the introduction of the transfer market means footballers will move from club to club.
So you will have South Americans moving upwards to play in leagues such as MLS and Liga MX.
In Europe, for example, you will commonly have players from around the continent moving to different leagues within.
As you can imagine, players will move to clubs where they don’t speak a word of the language.
However, there are ways in which clubs make this work, which I will talk about below:
1. Common Language
Soccer, known universally as Football, is in its own way a language of the world, as almost everyone understands it.
All countries play it, which means using hand gestures and simple words, would likely get you through a football game in a country where you don’t speak the language.
Common words and hand gestures that are known worldwide consist off:
- Saying Pass Or Yes – Indicating to someone to pass to you
- Saying your name – Indicates you have control of the ball (e.g. going up to head a ball)
So as you can see, even if a player wasn’t able to speak in a language, they could still play football.
Now while learning the basic words of a language will help any player. With how the game is today, players can be playing for one club one week and then another the next week.
2. Same Nationality Or Mutual Language
With clubs in the big leagues having a wider range of nationalities, it means there is a good chance that an existing player speaks the language of the new player.
This can help on the pitch in terms of translations and instructions and help them get adjusted to life in that country.
It makes them feel comfortable because they can instantly make friends with those who speak their language already.
Now while most clubs will have good morale and get on well with each other, many clubs in the top leagues will be divided into cliques.
A good example would be Man City, which has a few players from Brazil, Spain, England, etc.
For this team, when you see behind the scenes footage, you will see Ederson, Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho hanging around a lot because they speak Brazilian.
So if another Brazilian was to join City, he would be able to fit in quicker because there are already players in the squad who speak their natural language.
No matter where you are from, when it comes to stepping on that soccer field, anybody can play the game even if none of the players speaks the same language.
Do you have any more questions or have thoughts on this matter?
Make sure you leave a comment down in the section below 🙂
If you want to learn more about soccer, why not read my most recent article here!