Football is a universal language. Or is it? There is undoubtedly a common understanding between players as soon as they cross the white line onto the pitch; often you don’t need words to be able to play well as a team.
But it does help. With the professional game never more eclectic than it is now, where, for example, over 60% of players playing in the Premier League are foreign, having players who share a language can be crucial for team morale, tactics, coach instructions, and dealing with the media.
But the language of football has evolved to be so much more than just that of the words used on the pitch. Where every moment is broadcast and analysed all over the world, journalists battle with overused cliches, finding new ways to describe the same thing and word counts.
So what is the language of football?