The days of having all local or native players on a professional football/soccer team are long gone, but for Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeneß, that doesn’t give these international players the right to skip learning the local language and he is now hoping to put an end to the linguistic divide by placing financial sanctions on his players that don’t integrate.
“German has to be spoken again in the locker room”
“German has to be spoken again in the locker room, the language is a link. Otherwise, there are small groups. If one can not participate in the communication, this is not good,” Hoeneß told Sport Bild in an interview on Wednesday. “If I want to integrate myself into a club in the medium and long term, I have to learn the language. If I do not, I signal that I only use the club as a stepping stone.”
Hoeneß turned to Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti as an example of what should take place, noting how the Italian native quickly jumped on board with the German language after taking control of the team last summer, holding all press conferences in German.
“That impresses me,” Hoeneß said of Ancelotti’s integration. “Communication is important for a coach. But it also shows me: Where there is a will there is a way. Some of our players should take it as an example, especially since Carlo is 57 years old and at a more mature age than our players.”
“it has to be a rule. Otherwise he has to pay”
This frustration by Hoeneß will not end with his words though. Any player found to not be speaking German within the team setting will face stiff financial penalties. “A player must learn German, it has to be a rule. Otherwise he has to pay. It is the easiest solution,” Hoeneß declared.