Zesh Rehman launches 'Football Talk' app
Muangthong United defender and leading Kick It Out ambassador, Zesh Rehman, has launched a new mobile phone application to help fellow professional footballers overcome language barriers when moving abroad.
‘Football Talk’, which is currently set up in French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai, provides players with basic phrases and words, but is also designed to aid in negotiating contracts, talking to team-mates and connecting with fans.
Zesh, who was the first British Asian to play in the Premier League, decided to launch the app, which costs £1.99, having struggled to pick up the native language when signing for Thai champions Muangthong last December.
The 27-year-old said: “Hopefully with this application players will find the transition a little smoother and be able to successfully translate their thoughts and communicate in the language of their new country, to make their experience more enjoyable and rewarding.
“In the past, I have overcome physical and mental barriers in the game but for the first time I was presented with a verbal one. After much thought and deliberation, I thought of the application. It will not only help me but also future players, fans, families, coaches and agents who go from country to country to sample what the beautiful game has to offer. “
Former Liverpool and England striker, Robbie Fowler, who has recently joined Rehman at Muangthong, praised the app: “Football Talk is a great idea to help any player with the language regardless of what stage of their career they are at. It’s helped me pick up the basics a lot quicker here in Thailand than I would have so I’m lucky to have Zesh’s app at my disposal. I’m sure it’s going to help many more players in the future.”
Ex-Chelsea and England under-21s star, Michael Mancienne, who is now playing for Hamburg, added: “I wish I’d had it when I first arrived in Germany. It’s made it a lot easier for me to learn key words to communicate with team-mates both on and off the pitch. Some of the other foreign players have also downloaded it and now we have good banter between us.”
The App can be downloaded here, with more languages and phrases to be added in due course.