The Growing Influence of Latin American Culture on the Premier League01 June, 2020
Since its inception in 1992, and in particular following the turn of the century, the Premier League has attracted players from around the world, and England’s top footballing division has become a true platform for international cultural expression.
In this article, we will profile some of the ways that aspects of Latin American life and culture have taken hold in the United Kingdom, thanks to football, and helped create an outpost for the lifestyle thousands of miles away.
The power of football
Football is recognised as the global game and, for the population of the UK, it is a true sporting obsession. Fans participate in the pastime by playing, or watching live or on TV. Teams in the Premier League attract average attendances of more than 30,000, and matches are watched around the world by billions.
There are also a growing number of new ways to engage with the sport, whether that’s studying the form guide and checking out the football betting markets online, or competing in organised FIFA tournaments.
Football’s influence in the UK is huge and it’s helped embed international culture in a new nation.
The national drink of Argentina, which is a favourite of the Pope’s, has been imported to the Premier League by several managers and players. Former Tottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino is known to be an avid drinker of ‘mate’ and a number of his players have also become fans.
Combining the energy boost of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the endorphin high typically associated with chocolate, mate is now believed to be enjoyed by Eric Dier, who has even introduced the beverage to fellow members of the England squad.
Mate had never previously taken hold in the UK, but the influence of the Premier League’s biggest stars could help popularise the drink. This could help establish a slice of Latin American culture in the UK, with websites in the country already supplying the product to its new audience.
In recent years, goal celebrations have become more elaborate, imaginative, and eye-catching, and Latin American players have played a big part in that evolution, producing spectacular moves to mark equally spectacular strikes.
Players from South America often introduce traditional samba and tango dancing into their goal celebrations, with players of all nationalities joining in and fans in the stands at home watching on TV often mimicking what they see.
The UK has many of its own traditional dances, but international films and theatre productions have helped to import new routines that have since become established as part of the scene – and it’s great to see footballers from South America playing their own part.
Latin America’s own love affair with football, underlined by the staging of the first ever World Cup in Uruguay in 1930, shows no signs of fading. As club owners and managers in the Premier League scramble to import the best players from around the world, it’s likely that the continent’s cultural influence will continue to grow.
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