Transferring to different clubs is a major decision in any footballer’s career. Maybe it’s because of a lack of playing time, maybe you want to win more trophies, maybe for recognition, maybe it’s for more money or maybe even just wanting a change in lifestyle. There are many reasons as to why a player may want to change to a different club, and more often than not it is not only a club transfer, but a country transfer as well. Transfers can also come with many issues… one example is Neymar’s transfer tax troubles!
Although players can transfer almost anywhere in the world, they will always face the same challenges, adjusting to life in another country. There are endless forms of culture shock and just as many ways of dealing with it (Hottola, 2004), but one of the major ones in football is communication.
The dominant language in Spain is Spanish, and any player transferring from a foreign country to the Spanish ‘La Liga’ will find themselves struggling to communicate effectively. Spanish itself has many different dialects and this is one major challenge foreign players have to overcome.
On the field, communication is one of the most important aspects of the game. If a team is unable to talk to one another they won’t know who’s doing what. Even off the field, relationships between teammates will also be difficult to form. Adjusting to a team where you can’t make friends will just make living in that country so much more difficult.
Spanish football is known for it’s passing and team play, and if a player is unable to speak spanish and communicate with their teammates, they will only become a liability.
Although this can be overcome through translators and learning the language, some footballers choose to use their body language as primary forms of communication until they actually learn the language!
We just need to make sure a lack of communication won’t lead to costly errors…