To advance an L1 team, fluency in French is not essential.
"Football is a universal language," argued recently Niko Kovac, the Croatian coach of Monaco, raised in Germany, who speaks English.
(Editor's note: at Eintracht, between 2016 and 2018
), I had 17 or 18 different nationalities in the locker room, so I'm used to this kind of situation.
I have my character, the French players have theirs.
It's a good mix.
In the field, we communicate very well, our ranking proves it… ”At PSG, Monaco and OM, the three most cosmopolitan teams in L1, we tried to determine which language (s) were favored (s).
At PSG: Spanish LV1
Paris is making Spanish the first language and for good reason ... Now coached by an Argentinian, Mauricio Pochettino, the Parisian group includes around ten Spanish speakers, Spaniards and South Americans: Icardi, Herrera, Sarabia, Paredes, Di Maria, Navas, etc. Although Portuguese-speaking, Neymar, four seasons at FC Barcelona, also speaks Spanish. Mbappé himself masters the expressions of everyday life in this language.
"Communication is fluid between us, his Spanish is fantastic and his English is incredible," Pochettino confided about the Bondynois at RMC Sport's microphone in mid-April. At PSG, French and Spanish intermingle in the relatively relaxed context of training. But paradoxically, the French takes over in the locker room and during matches. In the field, Marquinhos speaks in French to his teammates. Even if Neymar and he are keeping aside in Portuguese, back on the pitch after half-time, for example. Pochettino does not yet fully master French, despite three years as a player at PSG and Bordeaux (2001-2003). He holds his talks and press conferences in English and / or Spanish. He can also turn to his deputy Miguel d'Agostino,who has played and trained in France in the past.
Champions League: next year, goal of victory for PSG ... if all goes well
➡️ https://t.co/I2TbmJacg6 pic.twitter.com/xqqyqZ6tLQ
- The Parisian |
PSG (@le_Parisien_PSG) May 6, 2021
Monaco: half French, half English
In the Principality, the French naturally have citizenship, half of the workforce being French and the club aligning eight French on average per game this season: Lecomte, Sidibé, Badiashile, Disasi, Aguilar, Tchouaméni, Fofana, Ben Yedder , etc.
Furthermore, Cesc Fabregas and Montenegrin Jovetic speak well enough to express themselves publicly in our language.
As for the third goalkeeper, the young Polish Radolslaw Majecki (21 years old), who arrived in June, he occupied his confinement last year studying French intensively, using textbooks and series ...
📊 Author of an exceptional second half of the season at the head of 🔴⚪️, Niko Kovac already has the highest victory ratio for a first season on the bench of AS Monaco.
Explanations in figures.
- AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) May 6, 2021
English is practiced by non-French speakers, first and foremost Kovac and his staff.
"It allows everyone to learn, it's a win-win," said the coach.
Everyone is making an effort, myself included, to improve myself in French.
For fine instructions, Kovac relies on Damien Perrinelle, a 37-year-old ex-player, three and a half years spent in MLS at the New York Red Bulls (2014-2017).
“At the start of the season, it was not easy, admits Youssouf Fofana, midfielder Espoirs.
The instructions are often the same so we understand the basics.
Some speak English or Spanish.
I speak all languages a bit.
With my hands, especially… ”This season, the club is also circulating“ The vocabulary of football ”, an illustrated bilingual lexicon, written by a teacher, Annabelle Creuzé, who lists the keywords in each of the areas of the game.
Marseille: Spanish with subtitles
At OM, many executives, Mandanda, Payet or Thauvin, speak French but a large place is given to Spanish since the enthronement of Jorge Sampaoli in early March.
“In training, in pre-match talks and video sessions, Sampaoli and his assistants always speak Spanish,” says a close relative of the group.
Their words are translated into French by Jacques Abardonado.
“Hispanic, the ex-player, 42, formerly in charge of training at OM, was attached to the staff of the Argentine coach upon the latter's arrival.
Despite the late opening of the score from Strasbourg, our Olympians will not let go as evidenced by the equalizer on an angry header from @PipaBenedetto 💪🔵⚪️
The summary of # OMRCSA 👉 https://t.co/7L1DG6R4HR pic. twitter.com/8vj2M1MxHg
- Olympique de Marseille (@OM_Officiel) May 3, 2021
Between players, in matches, French and English spontaneously compete with Spanish.
Failing to speak French fluently, all OM players are supposed to understand it.
Thus, defender Alvaro Gonzalez, who arrived in the summer of 2019, quickly managed to speak French.
The club has been offering courses to newcomers for several years.
In the early stages, translators are made available to them in certain circumstances, such as one-on-one interviews.