West Ham star Fabian Balbuena says Green Street helped him learn English

Former West Ham United defender Fabian Balbuena revealed he learned how to speak English by watching iconic football hooligan film Green Street.

The Paraguayan midfielder was released from the club after a three-year spell at the London Stadium, which saw him make 62 Premier League appearances for the Hammers.

He was a regular starter under former manager Manuel Pellegrini, who often looked to partner him alongside the likes of Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop.

And the 30-year-old South American got to grips with the English language and its intricacies by watching football hooligan film ‘Green Street’.

But Balbuena managed to get immerse himself in and amongst his team mates and the British way of life with the help of the 2005 film starring Elijah Wood and 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 the defender did not study Green Street for too long otherwise he would have got a lot more red cards.

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Moving to a completely different country with a new language is one of the biggest challenges any player can embark upon.

Fortunately for the defender, who joined Dynamo Moscow on a free transfer in the summer, was confident after being inspired by fellow South Americans Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.

“I wasn’t nervous about moving to England, but I only knew a little bit about West Ham,” said Balbuena.

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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 has made seven appearances in the Russian Premier League this season, playing the full 90 minutes every-time he took to the field.

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