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 used to be a regular starter and often looked to him as a partner alongside Angelo Ogbonna, Issa Diap, and others.
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 of 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 didn’t spend too much time studying Green Street. Otherwise, he could have received a lot more red cards.
What will West Ham United’s final season look like? Comment below
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 agreed.
Want to be on the ball with all of the latest football news?
Get the Daily Star email newsletter for football news and updates!
Get the most recent transfer news and agenda-setting stories in your inbox.
How do you sign-up?
It takes only seconds.
Simply enter your email address and click’subscribe.
It’s that easy. Every morning, you’ll get an email with the latest news stories.
Here’s more information about our email newsletter.
“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 played all 90 minutes on seven occasions in the Russian Premier League.