Former West Ham United defender Fabian Balbuena revealed he learned how to speak English by watching iconic football hooligan film Green Street.
After three years at the London Stadium where he made 62 Premier League appearances, the Paraguayan-born midfielder was fired from the club.
Manuel Pellegrini was his regular starter, and he often sought to be a partner for him with Angelo Ogbonna or Issa diop.
And the 30-year-old South American got to grips with the English language and its intricacies by watching football hooligan film ‘Green Street’.
Balbuena was able to immerse himself among his team mates, and in the British way of living with the help the 2005 film starring Elijah Wood & Charlie Hunnam.
“But what a lot of people don’t know is I watched the movie Green Street,” Balbuena explained.
“I know it’s about hooliganism, but that movie helped my English.
“Then, after I was able to say hello and ask a few things, the club arranged my English lessons.”
It was fortunate that the defender did NOT study Green Street too long or he would have been given a lot more yellow cards.
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Moving to a completely different country with a new language is one of the biggest challenges any player can embark upon.
Balbuena, a defender who moved to Dynamo Moscow in summer on a no-cost transfer, felt confident after being inspired and guided by Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano, and other South Americans.
“I wasn’t nervous about moving to England, but I only knew a little bit about West Ham,” Balbuena said.
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“I knew that Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano played for them and did very well.
“It was an amazing opportunity that I couldn’t turn down.
“Ogbonna, Cresswell, Antonio, Mark Noble and Pablo Zabaleta helped me settle.”
Balbuena made seven appearances this season in the Russian Premier League, and played the full 90 minutes each time he went on the field.