Telles: The two languages that unite United

Wednesday 15 December 2021 11:52

There's been a distinctly Portuguese-speaking flavour to United's recent successes on the pitch, with Cristiano Ronaldo's goals leading the way and Bruno Fernandes, Fred, Diogo Dalot and more providing strong support.

Alex Telles, too. The left-back, who celebrates his 29th birthday today, has been in fine form, and has further bolstered the ranks of Portuguese and Brazilian first-teamers.
But the multilingual make-up of our dressing room has long intrigued fans, arguably since the days of an unlikely alliance between Patrice Evra (France), Ji-sung Park (South Korea) and Carlos Tevez (Argentina).

How does Manchester-born Marcus Rashford converse with Belo Horizonte's Fred, for instance? What words does our new German interim manager Ralf Rangnick use to get his point across to the Ivorian Eric Bailly?

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Well, in a recent interview for Inside United, the club's official magazine, Telles opened up on just how the dressing room functions on the language front.
“I think English and Spanish unite everyone,” explained Alex. “We Portuguese and Spanish speakers are always together. 
“There's a great relationship between all the players and I'm really happy to be part of a dressing room where everyone gets on so well. We're always united, whichever country we come from or whatever language we speak.”
But Telles admitted that the Portuguese-speaking group spend a lot of time together away from the pitch, and do have a special bond. He even believes that it helps them maintain a more intimate footballing relationship when they combine on the field.
And recent evidence seems to suggest that's certainly true. 
Six of United's last nine goals in all competitions have been scored by players hailing from either Portugal or Brazil, while Diogo Dalot has regularly been coming to the fore with key passes in the build-up to goals.
All The Angles: Telles v Villarreal Video

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“It's a lot easier to speak Portuguese with Diogo, Bruno, Fred, Cris and other players here who speak Portuguese,” says Telles.
“So the connection is a lot easier on the pitch for us to understand each other better, and we naturally have a closer relationship.”

Fred ready for an unusual 2022


The Brazil midfielder knows next winter is going to be very different due to the World Cup finals.

But it's not just language that is helping the Portuguese drive the Reds forward – there's another secret weapon: Uno.
Yes, the popular card game is a big hit with Telles, Bruno and co, and is a big factor behind their friendships, according to the left-back.
“Bruno and Diogo are incredible players,” smiled our no.27. "I played with Diogo at Porto, so I'm good friends with him.
“Bruno's a great friend, amazing player. We always play these games; it's a great relationship.”