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West Ham star says watching hooligan film Green Street helped him settle in England

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.



Fabian Balbuena used to be a huge presence for West Ham
Fabian Balbuena used to be a huge presence for West Ham

“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.

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Fabian Balbuena never shirked from a challenge during his time at West Ham
Fabian Balbuena never shirked from a challenge during his time at West Ham

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.



Balbuena formed a solid partnership with Angelo Ogbonna and many other defenders
Balbuena formed a solid partnership with Angelo Ogbonna and many other defenders


West Ham star says watching hooligan film Green Street helped him settle in England

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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 played all 90 minutes on seven occasions in the Russian Premier League.

West Ham star says watching hooligan film Green Street helped him settle in England
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.
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