International management is a major factor of corporate business in the globalised world we live in today and one of the best examples of global management is a football club. It can be owned by a an investor from one side of the world, managed by a tactician from the other side of the world and made up of players from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities; not to mention the training staff and support team. So when Roy Hodgson was appointed to be the manager of the England national team we were surprised to find out that he spoke other languages, seven to be precise. Aside from speaking English, Roy Hodgson speaks fluent Norwegian, Swedish, German and Italian as well as some Danish, French and Finnish . We wondered to ourselves why we’d only just heard about his multilingual capacity and set about looking for other European managers and Footballers who can speak several languages.
Arsène Wenger has not only had a successful career managing Arsenal football club, he’s also fluent in French, German and English as well as having a grasp of Italian, Spanish and Japanese. If that’s not enough, he also holds a masters degree from the University of Strasbourg, which he completed whilst continuing his professional football career before moving into management.
The self professed “special one”, José Mourinho, is not only a master tactician; he’s also a master linguist. José can speak 5 languages fluently which include Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French and English as well as knowing some Catalonian; sounds like he’s practically perfect in every way.
Alex Ferguson is reported to have picked up intermediate use of some languages during his highly successful time managing Manchester United including French and Portuguese which he learnt from his French and Brazilian players.
It’s not only managers who are great linguists; several footballers not only know how to play the beautiful game but also to speak some beautiful languages too.
Ask Thierry Henry what’s French for “Va Va Voom” and he’ll be able to tell you the answer in 5 different languages including French, English, Italian and Spanish as well as a Creole language, (a stable natural language developed from the mixing of parent languages ).
Clarence Seedorf has not only won the Champions League title 4 times with three different clubs, he also has a lively ability with languages. Not only can the Dutch international speak Dutch, he can also speak English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.
Aside from being one of the best players ever, Zinadine Zidane can also speak 6 languages. His language knowledge includes Berber, Algerian, Arabic, French, English and Italian. Zidane may unfortunately be remembered for his actions during the 2010 world cup instead of his footballing prowess or his knowledge of languages though.
Do you know any Football managers or players who can speak several languages? Let us know.