Top Players in The World Cup
05 JULY, 2018 CULTURE ALESSANDRA MAFFEI
With the World Cup well underway, football fever is rising everyday! Football is a cultural phenomenon all over the world, bringing together family and friends to celebrate their favourite teams and support their countries. It’s a truly international game, with some of the best players coming from all over the world. Today’s blog post is celebrating this diversity, by recognizing the top players in the league right now.
“I start early and I stay late, day after day, year after year. It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.”
- Lionel Messi
Lionel Andres Messi Cuccittini plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona, as well as the Argentine national team. He is often referred to as the best player in the world, even regarded by many as the greatest of all time. He was born in Rosario, Argentina and is of Italian and Spanish descent. Messi speaks English and Spanish, and he shares his birthplace with the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara. To date, Messi has scored 552 goals for Barcelona, and won 451 matches!
“Talent without working hard is nothing.”
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born in Portugal. He is one of the highest earning footballers in the world. He has played for Portugal, England and Spain, scoring 311 league goals in 292 games, resulting in him being known as the 2nd all-time top La Liga scorer. He speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish, as well as being able to speak French, German, and some Russian! His illustrious career in football has been aided by his ability to learn these languages, as there are a variety of different nationalities in the league.
“Never give up on something you meant to do.”
Sergio Ramos Garcia is a Spanish footballer who plays for Real Madrid, as well as being the captain of the Spanish national team. He was born in Sevilla, Spain, and speaks both English and Spanish. At times, he has been criticized for his lack of discipline and he holds the record for the highest number of red cards obtained by a Real Madrid player. Despite this, he is regarded as one of the strongest defenders in present-day football, gifted with pace and good technical ability. Sergio has played a total of 3,730 minutes of football!
David de Gea
“I train every day to be the best goalkeeper in the world, that is my aim.”
David de Gea Quintana is a Spanish goalkeeper and he plays for Premier League club Manchester United. He was born in Madrid, and he moved to England in 2011 when Manchester United signed him for £18.9 million! He has been in a relationship with Edurne, a famous Spanish TV presenter and singer, who represented Spain in 2015 Eurovision. Despite his young age, David De Gea has received many awards and achievements.
Kevin De Bruyne
“I want to reach the highest level possible as a player and I think the most important thing is that at the end of the season we can be happy and maybe have some titles.”
Kevin De Bruyne is originally from Belgium and plays as a midfielder for Manchester City, which he joined in 2015 for a record £54 million. He speaks fluent Dutch, French and English. Besides football, he recently started his own pop-up clothing line called ‘KDB’ in partnership with clothing label Cult Eleven. Kevin comes across as a very quiet, calm player on and off the pitch. He has made 101 appearances and won 67 games. He has played for Genk in Belgium, and Chelsea.
“The secret is to believe in your dreams; in your potential that you can be like your star, keep searching, keep believing and don’t lose faith in yourself.”
Neymar is from Brazil and his full name is Neymar da Silva Santos Junior. He grew up playing futsal and street pickup games in Sao Paulo and he began his career playing for Santos’s junior team at the age of 11. He speaks Portuguese but he plays for French club Paris Saint-Germain. He joined the club for the imaginable transfer fee of $263 million. Neymar has also referenced that he can communicate in Spanish with his team-mates, although at the beginning it was daunting!
“For an Egyptian like me, to have entered into the world of professional football, it just means that nothing is impossible.”
Mohamed Salah Ghaly is from Egypt and plays for English club Liverpool. Before playing for Liverpool, he played for Roma, Fiorentina, Chelsea and Basel. In 2014, he became the first Egyptian to be signed by Chelsea, on a fee that is reported to be around £11 million. His first goal for the team was against Arsenal after entering the field as a substitute – the match ended with a 6-0 win for Chelsea. Mohamed recently spoke about how difficult it was adapting to a different language: “I couldn’t understand any language because I couldn’t speak English or Swiss German”. He spoke about how he took English courses: “I started English courses and had some classes to help me communicate… then I obviously went to Italy and learnt Italian, which I can speak well”.
“There are only three million people in Uruguay, but there is such hunger for glory: you’ll do anything to make it; you have that extra desire to run, to suffer. I can’t explain our success, but I think that’s a reason.”
Luis Alberto Suarez Diaz is from Uruguay and speaks Spanish as well as English and Dutch. He has the second-most goals scored record (5) in the FIFA Club World Cup. Suarez was born in Salto, Uruguay and moved to England in 2011 to play for Liverpool. He signed to Barcelona for £64.98 million, making him one of the most expensive players in football history!
“The story is only just beginning.”
Kylian Mbappe Lottin is a French footballer who plays as a forward for Paris Saint-Germain. He joined the team at the end of the season for a fee of around €180 million. Despite his young age, he already has 1.5 million followers on Instagram. Football is his sport of choice, but not many people know that he is also a big fan of tennis. The star is often referred to as the next Thierry Henry – an incredible celebrity to look up to!
“The fact is I do feel very Spanish, like when I’m talking to my wife and daughter in Spanish at two in the afternoon. I even think in Spanish when I get angry!”
Antoine Griezmann is also French but he plays as a forward for La Liga club Atletico Madrid. He has a love for tattoos and his tattoos show a lot of religious symbols. The dominant one is a rosary on his right arm which is surrounded by clouds, stars and the initials of his parents. Antoine can speak English, French, and Spanish.
What all of these footballers have in common is their determination to succeed in their careers. They have overcome many barriers in their quest to success, especially when it comes to their language abilities. Playing alongside people from different countries has allowed them to expand their cultural horizons. Learning a new language is a vital skill to learn, especially if you want to have an international career.
We also have summer football camps for young people aged 12-17, check them out here.
Last but not least, enjoy the World Cup!