Football is a very international business these days. La Academia sees the value that managers and staff at Premier League clubs get from learning each others’ language, as we are teaching at several clubs.

Recently former Manchester United star Gary Neville was appointed as Valencia’s new manager, and he made it clear that learning the language will be a priority for him. Being an early riser he stated in interviews that he’d like to do Spanish lessons at 6 in the morning! Gary’s brother Phil is already a coach at Valencia.

Neville realises that learning Spanish is going to be important, in fact he says “Spanish is going to be my biggest challenge. Obviously I don’t speak the language; it was never in the plan. I have to immerse myself. I will take lessons every day.”

With that level of commitment, he will be able to make swift progress in learning Spanish – as la Academia has noted in previous posts, adults can learn a new language even quicker than children, since they tend to be more logical in their approach.

Famously competitive, having a brother who speaks Spanish already will only spur Gary to greater efforts “I was at the training ground this morning and Philip’s Spanish was fantastic in terms of communicating with the players. I have to show that same level of commitment,” says the older Neville brother, “I want to do what’s Philip has done.”

With his stated determination to learn Spanish, plus having his brother on hand to help, and with Spanish lessons to instil the grammar and vocabulary he will need, la Academia looks forward to watching him succeed where David Moyes and many others have failed. And if he does, we are sure that Gary Neville’s stay in Spain will be happier and longer than many are predicting. Good luck, Gary!