Estrella Manchada Negro – Star Smudged Black

Spanish football is known for its many stars and exciting matches between famous clubs. Barcelona and Real Madrid in particular play a significant part in the world of football, they are arguably two of the most well-known teams in the world! However even among all this stardom, there is one recent issue that smears a black mark over Spanish Football. Tax fraud.

Barcelona FC, one of world’s top football clubs, have been dealing with cases of tax fraud regarding their star players.

The issue first arose in 2013, with Lionel Messi, arguably the worlds best player, being charged with tax fraud of more that 4 million euros. Less than a year later, another Barcelona superstar Neymar, was transferred to the Spanish club from Brazil. This sparked another tax fraud investigation, this time into the club regarding the fees for Neymar. Another year later there has been another Barcelona star facing tax fraud charges! This time being Javier Mascherano.

Messi and Neymar giving each other tips for court hearings.

With the amount of players within the world of football, it is not surprising that there will be crimes or allegations towards players, but 3 major cases in 2 years for a single club is quite unheard of!! Not only this, but these allegations involve one of the worlds leading football clubs, a team watched by millions around the world and their players known all over the globe.

Players like Messi and Neymar are role models for young people growing up, they see their achievements and aspire to be like them. Children are inspired by these players, and yet they let down the world by not doing a simple, responsible thing; paying your taxes. They let this tarnish their reputation. Whatever happened to spanish pride?

News headline showing the complexity of the issue. Not simply about tax fraud…

The issue itself is much more complex than I can possibly explore within one blog post, and the tax fraud issue may be less about the player and more about the club itself. Yet in the end it is difficult to know what happens behind closed doors and how footballers really manage their money and taxes…

Lenguaje Colorido – Colourful Language

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!

League logos from all over the world.

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…

La Roja – The Red One

One can argue that there are many symbols within Spanish football. Players, teams, stadiums or even club logos. However the most iconic and internationally recognised symbol of Spanish Football is the Spain National Team Jersey.

Spain National Team Jersey 2013/2014, worn in the 2014 World Cup.

This is one of the most iconic symbols in Spanish football. It is the jersey that is used whenever the Spain national team plays, whether it is in a friendly game or during the FIFA World Cup. Anyone that watches the World Cup will see and recognise the iconic red shirt that all the team wears. It is a shirt that is broadcasted worldwide and sold globally.

Spain National Team Badge

The shirt dons the iconic red and yellow of Spain, similar to the national flag. And also similar to the Spanish flag is the badge that is pressed onto the left side of the shirt. It is of the Spanish coat of arms, which entails a combination of six historical coats of arms, bordered by two columns which represent the two Pillars of Hercules, the ancient world’s name for the Straits of Gibraltar.

The shirt is also embossed with a star above the badge itself to represent their World Cup success in the 2010 World Cup. The winning of the World Cup contributes greatly to the international recognition of this jersey, further enhancing its status as a Spanish icon.

The jersey is a symbol of pride, especially since it closely resembles the national flag. It is a privilege to wear this jersey and play for your country. Despite all the politics in Spain, this jersey remains a constant icon no matter which autonomous region you are from.

And as the adidas ad for the 2011/12 jersey promotes, Spanish pride comes from within, despite which region of Spain you are from.