When footballer accents go bad

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The most startling thing about Australia goalkeeper Mat Ryan's interview for the Velencia website on the eve of his team's weekend match against Barcelona was not what he said, but the baffling way in which he said it. 

His words resonated with a mixture of Australian twang, trimmings of French and splashes of what appeared a hybrid Spanish intonation.

In case you missed Ryan's comical cadence, here's a refresher:


But it would be unfair to highlight the Australian star's bemusing brogue, without documenting others who have attempted, hilariously, to channel the elocution of their adopted football territory.

1 Steve McClaren

Who could forget the attempted Dutch drawl that lit up this otherwise drab interview from Englishman Steve McClaren? 


The year was 2008 and McClaren had just taken the reins at FC Twente, having spent time out from management to become a pundit. The above interview was one of the early highlights of what would become a decorated time at the helm of Twente for McLaren, who guided the club to its first championship in his second season.

Not content to let his coaching do the talking, McClaren tried his hand at something resembling a German accent when he took over at Wolfsburg in 2010-2011. While his results in the Netherlands gave him enough rope to experiment with accents during press conferences, the German top flight proved less forgiving. McClaren was sacked in his first season.   

2. Joey Barton 

Joseph Barton: combustible midfielder prone to flashes of brilliance. Linguist. 

Shortly after making his debut for Marseille during a loan spell in 2012, English firebrand Barton ensured he would only be remembered for what came out of his mouth during the post-match press conference, or at least, the way it came out of his mouth, in something resembling a French accent.

Barton promptly moved to deflect from his awkward intonation moment, by Tweeting that Paris Saint-Germain's Thiago Silva looked like 'an overweight ladyboy'. Barton's brief but bombastic stint in the french top flight came to an end at the completion of the 2012-2013 season.

3. David Moyes

Highlights of David Moyes's time as Real Sociedad coach included warm, balmy nights in San Sebastian, a shock 1-0 win over a full strength Barcelona and this: 

While the erstwhile Scot doesn't make the mistake of trying to speak english with a Spanish accent, he does breaks into some Spanish without adjusting his Scottish accent. Vintage Moyes.

4. David Beckham

It would not be a thought-provoking piece on accents without a nod to David Beckham, who's humourous attempts at English were immortalised in a series of embarrassing commercials, like this classic:

5. Jeremie Aliadiere

This is an odd one from the French ex-Middlesbrough player, who appears to begin this pitch side interview in the accent of his native country, before taking on a British street slang accent for his second answer, then intertwining between the two. 

Up until that point, Aliadiere, who now plays for Umm Salal in Qatar, had spent the majority of his senior professional career in England, so he can be forgiven for flirting with the local modulation. 

For some of the other characters on this list, there is no excuse. We just hope, for Ryan's sake, he will start getting more of a chance to do his talking on the pitch under new manager Gary Neville.