Moving to different countries, living in the same spaces as people of other nationalities, and performing in front of multinational and multilingual crowds is quite the ordeal.
But in the Football World, all this is quite standard.
Players usually transfer to other leagues multiple times during their careers, and more often than not, they’re far far away from home.
Naturally, this translates to learning the regional language, getting accustomed to the local culture and food, and of course, adapting to a dressing room packed with unfamiliar faces.
One player who recently underwent this ordeal is Germany International Antonio Rudiger.
The 30-year-old spent 5 years in England with Chelsea, before his contract expired last season and Real Madrid came knocking.
Following a chat with Los Blancos manager Carlo Ancelotti, Rudiger made up his mind and accepted the offer, taking his talents to the Bernabeu.
His spell in White so far has been relatively underwhelming. Despite delivering some solid performances, Rudiger has been unable to cement a place in the starting lineup and assert his authority in the backline as he did at Chelsea.
While he hasn’t managed to turn into a crucial figure at Madrid just yet, the German has certainly established himself as the squad’s ‘funny man’.
During his spell at Stamford Bridge, Rudiger was known to be an absolute hoot in the locker room. He was usually seen bantering with the squad and executing his absurd dance moves at every chance.
The center-back looks to have settled in with the team in a similar fashion, although, unlike Chelsea, he’s finding it a bit difficult to get used to Spain’s linguistic flavor.
In a recent interview, Rudiger shared that he is yet to learn Spanish and that he prefers to learn it on the job rather than hire an instructor. He also shared an anecdote revolving around his teammates and a certain X-rated Spanish expression.
The defender told Sport1 journalist, Kerry Hau, “I had to check what ‘Puta Madre’ means. In the beginning, I kept thinking that my teammates were insulting my mother, but it means like: ‘Damn cool!’.”
“Do I take Spanish lessons? No (laughs). My motto is: Learning by doing! In the dressing room, I also have almost no choice but to speak Spanish. If you want to talk to Vinicius, for example, you won’t get very far with English.”
For the uninitiated, ‘Puta Madre’ is Spain’s go-to curse, and as suggested by Rudiger, the meaning relays certain obscenities towards one’s mother.
This is the definition that most people outside of Spain are familiar with, but the expression also has another, more light-hearted meaning. In a similar fashion to the usage of ‘Son of a b#*ch’ as an appreciative remake, “Puta Madre” serves as a euphemism for ‘that’s cool’ in Spain.
Like most people, the defender was unaware of the expression’s alternate meaning, which naturally raised some alarms after he heard it from his teammates.
Fortunately, they explained the meaning to him. Although if fans online are to be believed, his teammates might just be using it in its literal sense despite telling Rudiger otherwise. A pretty clever prank, aside from the morality of it of course.
Leave a comment