“Many of the important conversations over team selection are in Catalan...” | HANDOUT - UEFA/Handout via REUTE


Much is said locally about the teaching of Catalan in local schools. Some, mostly from the mainland, are opposed to it saying that it should be one country, one language. Pro-Catalan speakers say that it is part of the local heritage and history. I am going to sit on the fence and say that I agree with both sides! The anti-Catalan brigade say there isn't much point speaking Catalan if you are going to study or work in Madrid or Seville.

And they are correct....but what they should also know is that Catalan is widely spoken in a Premier League football club...and not just any club but the league leaders themselves, Manchester City. I was quite amazed to hear that conversations about team selection and even tactics are all in Catalan. City manager Pep Guardiola has made no secret of his support for Catalan independence and his inner circle at City are all Catalan. It seems rather strange to hear Guardiola and his backroom staff discussing tactics for a forthcoming match in Catalan in the heart of Manchester.

I have been watching the excellent fly-on-the-wall documentary about Guardiola and City on Prime and it is certainly an eye opener. Like many top Premier League clubs Manchester City has its roots in England but its owners and coaching staff are from elsewhere. What is evident on the documentary is that Guardiola is one of the top managers in the world who has certainly transformed City speaking in a language which some believe is a complete waste of time.