15 de abril de 2010

The Spanish language in the FIFA World Cup

Por Jesús Castañón Rodríguez

The Spanish language in the FIFA World Cup

Jesús Castañón Rodríguez (*)

(*) Text of the speech made to The Innsbruck Research Fottball Group at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) in 2010.

The meeting between South Africa and Mexico on 11 June 2010 marks the start of a new edition of the final stage of the Football World Cup, a social phenomenon of renewed hopes for Spanish speaking society.

It constitutes a new occasion to broaden the language with a parade of words in which voices are contributed by all from the Nobel Prize Winner to the enthusiastic fan. Its linguistic history records the declaration of Spanish as an official FIFA language in 1946 and its use in the speeches of the opening and closing ceremonies reminds us of the efforts made by Argentina, Spain and Uruguay from 1906 to 1929 to create this tournament, as well as the emotions of the nineteen editions in which fourteen national teams of Spanish speaking countries have participated, and the organisation of six final stages in five of these (1).

Technical terminology

During the World Cup, terminology has shown its great variety on the pitch. The portería (goal) is also arco, marco, meta, portal, puerta or valla and this is inhabited by the portero (goalkeeper) who becomes arquero, cancerbero, golero, golquíper, guardameta, meta. The balón (ball) crosses the field as the bola, cuero, esférico, globa, gordita, guinda, la número cinco, pelota, redonda, vedette. The árbitro (referee) becomes silbante (whistler) and the arbitral (judging) team is the jueceo.

Some moves such as gambetas (dodges, feints) exceed regates and if they are short they become moñasJopeadas (chipping the ball over another player) rise to become sombreros (hats) and taquitos (studs) are transformed into espuelas (spurs). The shot becomes chut, disparo, lanzamiento, remate, shot; curved shorts at goal are «de chanfle» and the strong shot may be designated as balinazo, berriazo, bombazo, cañonazo, chumbazo, chupinazo, chutazo, misil, pildorazo, zapatazo

Beside the touchline, the asistente (linesman) coexists with the linimán and on the bench the manager becomes the DT (technical director) or estratega (strategist). The hinchada (supporters) are the fanaticada. And the national team is also designated as the combinado, sele or selección.

This terminology of restricted scope has also contributed specific words. Terms relating to the regulations arose such as tarjeta amarilla (yellow card) and tarjeta roja (red card) to refer to cautioning and sending off in Mexico in 1970.

In 1998, the cuauhteminha appeared, a feint performed by the Mexican player Cuauhtelmoc Blanco which consists of overcoming two opposing players by jumping between them with the ball hooked between the feet. In 1986, the Mexico edition contributed to the psychology of the sport with stage fright, an expression of Gabriel García Márquez made popular by the Argentinian Jorge Valdano to define the player’s fear of leaping onto the field of play in view of the incertitude of the result and his possible performance.

In other final phases, designations were coined for the defensive and offensive style of play. In 1978, from Argentina, definir (define) appeared as a synonym of the traditional anotar (score) a goal, the pequeña sociedad (small society) as a way of referring to the meeting of two or three players who perform set pieces with a high degree of mutual understanding and precision, and the zonas de definición, de distracción y de gestación (zones of definition, distraction and gestation) with which to designate, respectively, the parts of the field destined for moves of attack, defence and the transition between defensive and attacking moves.

The concern of a team with a brilliant record to achieve good results and triumphs was summarised in the form urgencia histórica (historical urgency) in 1982 in Spain.

And the social festival in the stands during matches led the way to terminology for forms of animation in a jovial and unanimous tone, with the Argentinian term lluvia de papel (paper rain) in 1978 and the Mexicanism of the ola (wave) of the 1986 edition which, respectively, designate the throwing into the air of small pieces of paper and the optical illusion produced in the stands by the action of the crowd rising progressively from their seats and sitting down again, in an anti-clockwise direction.

Journalistic language

In the Latin-American community matches have not only been played within the limits of the pitch. On the other side of the touchline, the Spanish language has played its own game by means of a strategy of illusion that has been able to create new expressions at the first touch, look for gaps to develop synonyms to break the monotony, mark fashionable vocabulary in the area, run along the touchlines in search of irony and excitement, lift its head to find a measured pass to the continued transformation and recreation of vocabulary, centre towards the area of expressiveness and score the goal of creating a special language capable of connecting with the masses.

Since 13 July 1930, this abundance of talent in the feet has meant that footballers swayed their bodies and that, in the stands, the spectators’ pupils dazzled, they let their feelings speak aloud and moved the shoes of fantasy.

The loquacious commentators have taken the audience to constant efforts of imagination and ingenuity, they have fixed in the collective memory the excited chant of goals and memorable moments, they have constructed an encephalogram in which emotions, illusions and hopes rise and fall until they reach the moment to be lived out in fascination.

They have transformed sports commentary into a meeting point between failures to meet so that the joy of their wordplays provides moments of happiness or serves as an element of evocation, inspiration and nostalgia with which to feed the hope of a better world in another faraway culture.

In this process the most technical terms are eliminated in order to attract the public’s attention with varied voices and accents and passionate descriptions that extol freedom through effort, the pride of redeeming talent and the capacity of righteous heroes who, at top speed, convert into reality what others are only able to dream of. And linguistic balance is sought in the terminology with the technical commentary provided by former footballers, referees and managers in a style that began to be transferred to Europe with the 1982 and 1986 editions.

All this variety in the journalistic language of football has been generated in four stages. First, with the intercontinental trajectory of journalists who embarked upon a personal adventure in the first third of the twentieth century, as is the case of the Chilean Roberto Deglané who specialised as a sports presenter at the New York Floyd Gibbons School and performed his work in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Spain.

Second, from 1938 to 1966, an exchange of information and sports languages began in an east-west direction across the Atlantic and from south to north of the American continent, thanks to the work of the radio, the written press and the news agencies who shared continuous news updates, highlighted literature and exalted the chant of a sentiment of freedom through the effort and achievement of those who see their dreams come true in remote lands (2). At the forefront of this task was the work of the Latin-American Service of the BBC which, from 14 March 1938, broadcast the regional values of Latin-American football and its culture in the world and, in 1966, created news in Spanish to transmit the Football World Cup in continuous updates with the voice of the Chilean Patricio Bañados, as the main presenter.

From 1974 to 1994, the exchange of information between the north and south of America achieved a prominent place on television in the United States. In the journey of immigrations, sport became a sentimental refuge from life in another culture and a form of affective expansion thanks to Latin-American channels and, later, with the satellite channels from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Spain, the United States and Mexico (3). Preference was given to information regarding the results of Latin-American sportsmen and women throughout the world and regarding the sporting activities of the Latin community in the host country, with the use of a neutral Spanish with phonetic rules, dictionaries of ambiguous words and equivalents of localisms. This process was launched by channel 23 of Miami «WAJA-TV» which, in 1974, purchased two hours in order to broadcast football matches in the United States and, after its integration in Univision, this broadcasting was extended to Canada, the Caribbean, Central America and South America. Those were the times in which the voice of the Peruvian Tony Tirado reached delirium with the chant of goal with a shout full of fervour and the transmissions included an introduction to their programmes in Spanish and English.

From 1994 to date a constant exchange of information has taken place without frontiers, thanks to the new technologies used by journalists, sportsmen and women, supporters… There is a tendency towards the development of graphic design and music to create new communicative meanings with persuasive techniques to the detriment of language and an end has been put to the use of terminology from a restricted sphere. As a principal novelty, a voyage has been made from west to east across the Atlantic which, from 2006, in Spain, generated products with information on the latest news of the Latin-American national teams in the World Cup Finals in Germany and provided a detailed summary of the most relevant news regarding Latin-American sportsmen and women in the world (4).

Discourse analysis

For the history of the language with regard to its dissemination, the World Cup has presented various centres of interest. It is the new field of play in which words contest the match of transforming the art of the field into cultural magic, in which the narrators of victory have run along the touchline to configure a scale of emotions in the supporters, a range of identifying marks and, in addition, a source of turns of phrase and expressions that become installed in the collective imagination.

Despite its variety, the collective image of the Latin-American community has several factors in common: the telling of stories of emigrants and avengers, the creation of a festival as a means for advancement and a hasty evasion that mixes accents and protagonists that make people dream and cause enjoyment where apparently it does not exist.

Expectation abounds of the conquest of a dream to be lived with clamour. A game of talent is played with the stand that combines elements of the leisure industry, of consumerism and sport in a dynamic of the unexpected. An area of spontaneity and expressiveness is generated that serves as a basis for the subsequent alliance with other artistic manifestations in which it manages to impact and seduce after simplifying the event and dramatising the personalities.

In Uruguay in 1930 the foundations were laid to encourage the experience of the meetings with a magical dimension thanks to the presenters Ignacio Domínguez Riera and Emilio Elena: each match was a social event, victory was a source of national morale and pride and the final triumph was a cause for overflowing social enthusiasm. Their commentary was given using a style with an unbiased viewpoint that relied on succinct sentences, used light expressions that generated a sensation of speed and favoured the anticipation of goals before the crowd had cheered.

In 1950, a new step was taken with the creation of a detailed narrative style that used intense emotion, without becoming dramatic, able to fire magnetism and immediacy allowing it to be followed in bars, public spaces and used as a source for articles in the communications media.

A new creative tendency was generalised with the Argentinian triumph in the 1978 and 1986 editions with an overflowing passion characterised by descriptions at top speed, the special emphasis on every move or goal, the recreation of dialogues that take place on the field, the free association of concepts originating in various spheres and the application of modification of repeated discourse. This is a task in which renown was achieved by José María Muñoz or Víctor Hugo Morales, with his ta, ta, ta…

In this atmosphere, the use of language is not limited to normative use and makes way for an excess that affects the phonic, grammatical and lexical levels. The first level records aspects of pronunciation, intonation and the creation of effects formed by particular phonostylistics. Sounds are recreated to transmit trembles, roars, vibrations and trajectories via the creative treatment of vibrant «R»s, sibilant «S»s, windy «F»s and «Z»s and the expressive lengthening of the vowels. The greatest number of words is spoken in the shortest possible time, thanks to the Argentinian machine gun men. The presenters play with a variety of intonations that rise and fall in curves and modulations to make the heart beat to the rhythm of the emotion. They use different timbres of voice, with contrasts. And at the most critical moments of competitions they make use of a full-throated intensity to greet the dream that has just come true with emphasis, reports in suspense and intermittent repetitions of sounds and words.

At the lexical level Latin-American peculiarities are concentrated in neologisms, lexical Hispano-Americanisms, figured language, the modification of repeated discourse and the treatment given to technical terms.

There are numerous examples of diversity in foreign words and expressions: wing, golquíper, referee… to refer to the winger, goalkeeper and referee, respectively.

And very striking, owing to their expressiveness, are the lexical Hispano-Americanisms that arise to paint life and bottle clouds of intense emotions: agarrar la lanza (grip the lance, rise to finish an attack), clavar el aliento en la nuca (breath down somebody’s neck, close tackling), cola de vaca (cow’s tail), cuauhteminhadefinir (define, score), jugar con un balde invertido en la cabeza (play with a bucket over one’s head, be clumsy), lluvia de papel (paper rain), miedo escénico (stage fright), no agarrar una vaca en un baño (not catch a cow in a bathroom, fail in tackling), ola (wave), paisajear (stand and look at the view, not react in the face of a rival action), paradinhapatrullar un sector (patrol a sector, use zonal marking), quedarse en la cueva (stay in the cave, not react in the face of a rival action), sacar chispas al centro del campo (raise sparks in midfield, play with spirit), victoria con dientes apretados (victory with clenched teeth, triumph with an effort) and urgencia histórica (historical urgency, need for a triumph).

The concern for connecting the pitch with the street led to an increase in the presence of figured languages that eliminate the technical terminology of sports to make way for a seduction that favours the social festival of sport when creating myths and emotions in a linguistic populism. And the use is extended of techniques for the modification of repeated discourse with units of colloquial language (turns of phrase, sayings…) to summarise the mood of the match and the experiences lived, as well as the titles of socially successful cultural forms to be applied to the opportunism of the news. Perhaps the most spectacular was connected to the triumph of Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup, where the magnificent performance of Maradona and the whole national team was greeted by the weekly publication «El Gráfico» with the headline «Don’t cry for me, England» to condense the football victory as a compensation for the Falklands War or the suggestive and rhythmic «Cesc bomb» with which Tom Jones never thought that Spanish journalism would greet the brilliant performance of a midfielder in 2002.

It has allowed cases to be recorded in the finals of the twenty-first century such as that of the match that confronted Paraguay with Germany and was seen as a duel of goalkeepers between «the gallant Latin-American Chilavert and the platinum blond Kahn», that Japanese victories would be hailed as a triumph of the «land of the rising goal» or that Spain would contribute the «Romance of Iker Casillas» so that all the minstrels would sing the epic of having stopped three penalties, a fact worthy of a special dimension according to the headlines «The hands of God» and «Ikermán».

This game provides some distinguishing factors that affect the use of football as an emotional showcase, as a sentimental refuge and as a sounding board for non-sporting references. The bell of emotions of a victory peals with pride to reach the farthest corner in a social festival that transmits historical values regarding the significance of which Hispanic scholars and Latin-American researchers have reflected (5).

Outstanding at the grammatical level are: the nominal style, the presence of features of colloquial speech and the creation of expressive terms formed by suffixing, prefixing, composition (by means of orthographic compounds, syntagmatic with key words or with hyphens), parasynthesis, initials, abbreviating of words or lexical crosses that combine the sporting name of the footballer and the designation of the goal such as «Batigol» which joins the Argentine Batistuta and goal.


One of the main characteristics of the Spanish language of football in its level of dissemination resides in deploying narrations, from inside to out, which are able to overcome the limits of the chalk lines to reach the farthest corner. It is a collaborative game of artistic emotion in which various spheres participate.

On the pitch, communication highlights aspects of lyricism, passion, bitterness and beauty destined to be lived in clamour, in dreams, in fascination as has been well defined by the Argentinian Diego Lucero, the only journalist who participated in all the editions between 1930 and 1994. It creates heroes in the collective unconscious, dreams of eternal youth, happiness or freedom that overcome the limits of hostile reality, generate the will to live and aspire to hold back time… They unite the description of the game with the emotions of the audiences via constant linguistic innovations in the narrative or excited chants of goal, from the Mexican Carreño in the inaugural meeting of 1930 to the spiritual goals of the Spanish Zarra in 1950 and Diego Armando Maradona in 1986.

The academic grandstand has also intervened in the leap taken by expressions towards the outside of the sports stadium. On the one hand, with a constant reflection and concern for the correction of texts that caused various members of the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española and of the Real Academia Española to don the shirt in order to guide idiomatic uses of journalistic language and study its terminology in order to incorporate it in the dictionary. This is the case, among others, of Emilio Alarcos, Manuel Briceño Jáuregui, Alfonso Junco, Fernando Lázaro Carreter, Torcuato Luca de Tena, Federico Peltzer, Gregorio Salvador and Daniel Samper.

The literary grandstand has provided contributions by various winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature and members of the Real Academia Española, converted into contemporary sports chroniclers. Camilo José Cela in 1982 and 1990 or Gabriel García Márquez in 1994, as well as the academics Juan Pedro Aparicio, Camilo José Cela, Miguel Delibes, Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, Javier Marías, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Álvaro Pombo, Soledad Puértolas, Mario Vargas Llosa… are some examples.

Since 1978, there has been a growing participation by writers as commentators of sports news based on the consideration of the sports section as a form of contemporary fictional literature able to create mythology, introduce the unreal into daily reality and add a magical dimension to the human experience (6).

In the twenty-first century, the idea of the final phase of the World Cup as an occasion for art and culture is already established. Its conversion into a literary product has been possible thanks to a possible relationship between football and the different literary genres suggested by semiology, sociology, rhetoric, cinema and literature (7). This game of free associations has allowed football to be interpreted as: poetry, owing to its degrees of inventiveness, the unpredictability of the game and its ability to express feelings, unite with them, maintain them and deepen them over time; prose, when the goal is the conclusion of a predictable reasoning; theatre, when it converts the experience lived by the supporter into a metaphor for life or shows the public the common experience of knowing its passions, converts the spectator into an actor and serves as a liberator of conflicts, joys and anguish…

However, the Latin-American community has opted more for the connection with the short story in which it is capable of developing a popular culture, it allows the expression of a fabled view of football over which the image of a marvellous country is projected and eight aspects are shared: the pressure of time; creativity and improvisation when repeating actions over and over again; competitiveness; the presence of numerous actors and their interrelation with the public as though the latter were a chorus; the necessary conjunction of individual and group success; the division of language between the laconic style of the sportsmen and the unfurling of resources by the journalists; and the arrival of the denouement, rapidly and with few actors, to obtain the emotive reaction of the public.

Between the 2002 and 2006 editions, publication was seen of: the story of the tournament told in ten-line stanzas by Ricardo Bada for Colombia and the commentary of football poems by the Peruvian author Blanca Varela, the supplement of the magazine «Cuadernos de Fútbol» published by the Spanish Federation in 2002, the anthology of stories «Historias de fútbol, días de Mundial» by the publisher Edinexus, the work of manager performed by Juan Villoro in the Mexican «Revista Digital Universitaria» (8), the exhibitions of the Goethe Institute with the cultural events organised around the Football Globe, the Fußball Globus a mobile installation in the form of a ball that toured the twelve host cities housing poetry encounters and literary meetings, the work in universities, a tribute to Luis Suárez in the Instituto Cervantes of Milan, the publication of serials of football texts by great authors, the presence in Italy of teams of literati or the holding of special meetings such as the Mundialito of writers, in which the Austrian Franzobel and the Spaniard Javier Marías participated.

Comments are currently being made on the difficulty of converting a match into words, the game of language that is played when creating synonyms and metaphors and the different perspective of football held by sportsmen and authors: for the former, fun at pitch level is the most important, whilst for the latter the focus is set on the evocation of the football of yesteryear.

The union of the language with other artistic manifestations has continued growing until it achieved a social festival without exclusions and 2006 saw the surge of the fanfest or free event in the open-air, in churches, hospitals and restaurants for the festive experience of the transmission of the various matches. A habitual practice in the Latin-American community is the desire to trap the magic of the moment that surrounds the historic heritage with joyful words, slogans and chants so that the stones hear the euphoria of the people and the statues discover the knew achievements of popular history. An example of this is the groups of supporters who have kissed the female statues in the Cibeles fountain in Madrid, touched the sky with the Mexican Angel of Independence and risen high following the arrow shot by El Obelisco.

For this, language resorts to a new game with no exclusions, to spur on the words until a popular culture is formed in which footballing commentaries have been filmed by the Chilean filmmaker Antonio Skármeta or the Spanish director José Luis Garci. Smiles have been drawn by the graphic humorists Caloi, Fontanarrosa, Mingote, Mordillo or Quino. Argentinian advertising has created moments of great emotive concentration to highlight the jovial and unanimous joy of the experience of the supporters enacted by the diapason of sky blue and white feeling. Footballers such as Mumo Orsi or Maradona have danced with words; professional singers ranging from the Argentine duo Pimpinela, to the Puerto Ricans Ricky Martín with «La Copa de la vida» or Chayanne and even David Bisbal in this 2010 edition in South Africa; as well as numerous tangos, carnival parodies and rock themes that have presented the victories of Argentina and Uruguay as the triumph of a hope that converts dreams into reality after a permanent struggle.

Multilingual work

The multilingual diffusion of football in which the Spanish language is featured has existed for more than half a century.

In the twentieth century, it started in 1960 with the work Hérlzyelvü sportszótárs: football, by the Hungarian Labdarcigas to include the equivalents of words in seven languages. And it would continue in 1979 with the work Terms used in association football published by FIFA to include terms in English, French and Spanish. It continued in 1982 with the Diccionario periodístico del fútbol published by the Diplomatic Information Office of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the coordination of Inocencio Arias (9) with terms in Spanish, French, English and Italian. And the last decade of the century saw the registration, in 1998, of the work Football Dictionary of FIFA and the multilingual glossary compiled by the company Logos, in fourteen languages, which was available for consultation during the finals in France.

In the twenty-first century, the final stage in 2002 in Korea and Japan recorded the coexistence of two trends: the traditional work with equivalences in various languages and the technological multilingual work. In the first case, the work of the Frenchman Herni Stassinet stands out, with Hablemos de fútbol en 8 idiomas, which covers 300 technical terms and popular expressions collected by the company Assimil in German, Korean, Spanish, French, English, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese.

This same year, 2002, saw the beginning of a new form of work for technological diffusion that establishes communicative strategies, projects an image in society, improves relations with the internal and external public and creates climates of opinion favourable to the consumption of the products being marketed. This was the case of the official page of FIFA in German, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, English and Japanese. It became the most visited sports site in the history of top-level competition and 13 languages are currently employed in the work performed by FIFA and UEFA (10).

The final stages of 2006 and 2010 have led to a new step being taken since the multilingual experience has been joined by the development of applications for learning and leisure and reflection regarding this dissemination.

Outstanding in the first case is the work performed in Italy by Il dizionario del calcio in sei lingue with 2,500 Italian terms and their equivalents in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and German to: favour communication in the stadium with one’s neighbour in the stand, provide information regarding historical words in football, guide correct expressions in order to state one’s own opinion with sharpness and exactitude, understand our partner in conversation and understand the news and communications media. It is a trend that continues in 2008 with Langenscheidt Praxiswörterbuch Fußball Deutsch-Englisch-Französisch, a work by the publishing company Langenscheidt and UEFA aimed at favouring multilingual communication with 1,752 entries in German, French and English that include the official terminology of FIFA, UEFA and terms inherent to professional football and the experience of the supporters.

Outstanding in the second case was the application «El inglés de la cancha», produced by BBCmundo.com to learn vocabulary related to footballing phrases of teams, tactics, skills, the field of play, pastimes, football stories and history. And also the program Kicktionary.

And the third case records the growing comparative analysis between different languages such as that performed in the volume The linguistics of football and the 2010 edition arrives with the analysis of 10 languages in the weekly publication The Anglicization of European lexis, 10th International Conference of The European Society for the Study of English (ESSE) held in Turin.

This whole panorama is completed with the work of dissemination which was carried out for football in the Summer Olympic Games. In the Games held in Mexico in 1968, the press office of the Organising Committee requested the Real Academia Española to unify Olympic sports terminology, adapting words of foreign origin to the Spanish language, to contribute to a more efficient social dissemination. From then on, its terminology has appeared in 1972 in Munich with Olympisches Sportworterbuch=Olympic sports dictionary=Dictionnaire des sports olympiques=Diccionario de deportes olímpicos: Deutsch, English, Français, Español; in 1976 in Montreal with Lexique du football (soccer): Français, English, Deutsch, Español; in 1980 in Moscow with Football=Football=Fussball=Fútbol; in 1988 in Seoul with Sports glossary; in 1992 in Barcelona with Diccionari de futbol with an experience that has contributed 465 terms and which has been made use of, between 1996 and 2006, by the organising committees of the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Sydney and Beijing, and the Football World Cup in Korea and Japan.

And in addition football is also present in other specific works. In 1990, Viviana E. Ronco published in Buenos Aires Palabras del deporte olímpico, vocabulario del deporte inglés-francés-español, which recorded 21 football terms. In 1998 and under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, Jean-Daniel Katz compiled 98 football terms in German, Spanish, French and English in Lexique olympique multilingue. Multilingual olympic lexicon. Léxico olímpico multilingüe. Mebrsprachiges olympisches Wórterbuch. And in 2004, Antonia Ordoño contributed 764 football words in 32 léxicos trilingües de deportes y medios de comunicación para los Juegos Olímpicos y Mediterráneos, a work favoured by the Asociación de la Prensa de Almería, with specific terminology of the sports of the Mediterranean Games in Spanish, French and English.

It Moreover, stresses the work of the Department of Spanish Urgent Agencia Efe and the Foundation of Spanish Urgent that, since the edition of World Cup of Soccer in 1982, has provided the transcript of the names of footballers from non-roman language, has created guidelines for linguistic expressions of language of journalism, has reflected on the evolution of language and has provided specialized language training for journalists.


Argentinians, Spaniards and Uruguayans took the first steps to allow the assistance of the word to occupy a relevant place in the broadcasting of football. The current times of multilingual, multidirectional communication, without timetables or frontiers in platforms for news management and editing and leisure will favour microtexts for fast and easy reading, spontaneity and oralisation, terminological precision, the care of translations, the use of lexical Latin-Americanisms, the transcriptions of names from different alphabets, the use of generic terms as opposed to localisms, the summary of the sporting event and its emotions via headlines with plays on words and the description of occurrences with a lexicon appropriate for non-specialised audiences. It is a challenge in which it will be necessary to give continuity to university reflection (11) and attend to the provision of lexical resources for guidance regarding terms and translations and to build networks of specialised documentation.


(1) Between 1930 and 2010 the following countries have participated in the final stage: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. And it has been organised by: Uruguay in 1930, Chile in 1962, Mexico in 1970 and 1986, Argentina in 1978 and Spain in 1982.
(2) This is the case, among others, of: the weeklies El Gráfico (Argentina) and Don Balón (España), the international agencies ANSA (Italia), Associated Press and United Press International (United States), Deutsche Press Argentur (Germany), Efe (Spain), France Press (France) and Reuters (United Kingdom), as well as by other agencies such as NA, DyN and Telam (Argentina), Colprensa (Colombia), Prensa Latina (Cuba), Colpisa, Europa Press and OTR (Spain), Notimex (Mexico), Acan (Panama)… In the 21st century develops this work of a regular basis in the chain Union Radio to share information in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Spain and the stations integrated into the Latino Group of Radio and that for the World Cup 2010 develop space «South Africa 2010».
(3) Among others, this work was performed by: Univisión, Telemundo, ESPN Deportes, Fox Sports in Spanish, Galavisión, GolTV, Sur, TyC, Tele Colombia, Televisión Española, TV Azteca and TV Chile.
(4) Latino Deportivo, Pasión Deportiva, the publishing of the Argentinian weekly El Gráfico as a free supplement of the Canary Islands newspaper El Día and the special supplements Fútbol Latino and Marca Mundial of the daily papers Mundo Deportivo and Marca are some examples.
(5) The study has been carried out, among others, by Pablo Alabarces, Eduardo P. Archetti, Liliana Barela, Osvaldo Bayer, Ricardo Belgeri, Martín Bergel, Marcelo Brunet, Ramón Burgos, Ángel Cappa, Sebastián Codeseira, Roberto Di Giano, Carlos Ferrera, Julio Frydenberg, Lelia Gándara, Gastón Julián Gil, Lidia González, Tulio Guterman, Gerardo Halpern, Claudio Kunis, Marcelo Massarino, María Verónica Moreira, Leticia Muñoz Cobeñas, Héctor Palomino, Pablo Palomino, José Paparelli, Sergio Ricardo Quiroga, María Graciela Rodríguez, Amílcar Romero, Ariel Scher in Argentina. By Mario Murillo Aliaga in Bolivia. By Sergio Villena Fiengo in Costa Rica. By Jacques P. Ramírez in Ecuador. By Rafael Alonso Martínez, Fernando León Solís, Ramón Llopis Goig and Lucía Payero López in Spain. By Enrique Rivera Guerrero and Héctor Zavala Rivas in Mexico. By Gerardo Álvarez and David Wood in Peru. By Eduardo Galeano, Adriana Marrero, Ricardo Piñeyrúa and Dante Wilfredo Steffano in Uruguay.
Among the studies of non-Hispanic origin on Latin-American football, it is appropriate to highlight Liz Crolley and David Hand (United Kingdom) for the press, Joseph L. Arbena (United States) and Richard Giulianotti (United Kingdom) for the social and cultural perspectives, Christian Bromberger (France) and John Bale (United Kingdom) for the study of the supporters and Victor Andrade de Melo (Brazil) for the exchange relationships between Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. And especially, the collection of titles of the series Sport in the Global Society, published by Routledge and coordinated by J. A. Mangan, Boria Majumdar and Mark Dyerson (United Kingdom), to cover the political, cultural, emotive and aesthetic dimensions of modern sport in the world.
(6) Some prominent authors are: Alejando Apo, Bernando Bergé, Rodolfo Braceli, María José Campoamor, José Luis Cantori, José Pablo Feinmann, Carlos Ferreira, Rodrigo Fresán and Osvaldo Soriano (Argentina), Julio Barrenechea (Chile), Juan Villoro (Mexico), Augusto Roa Bastos (Paraguay) and Mario Benedetti, José María Delgado, Lucha Odín Fleitas, Eduardo Galeano and Carlos Martínez Moreno (Ururugay).
(7) This reflection benefits from the participation of Giampero Barrocu, Roland Barthes, Pierre Bourdieu, Umberto Eco, Grant Farred, Edgar Morin, Desmond Morris, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Vicente Verdú, José Miguel Wisnik… who have highlighted the strength of football for condensing and dramatising social values in a fiction that mixes enjoyment and drama and is able to mark processes of collective identification.
(8) He created a line-up from universal literature formed by: Camus as goalkeeper, Dostoievsky and Tolstoy as central defenders, Hemingway and Faulkner in the position of wing backs, Borges to steal balls and ideas, Cervantes as playmaker, Nabokov as a versatile attacking midfielder, Kafka and Calvino as wingers and Chekhov as forward, an architect of conciseness.
(9) In time, he held the position of General Manager of Real Madrid between 1993 and 1995.
(10) Specifically FIFA divulges its activities in six languages: German, Arabic, Spanish, French, English, Portuguese. UEFA performs this diffusion in twelve languages: German, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, English, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Ukrainian. And as an example of the work of the two most important teams in Spain, Real Madrid uses Spanish, English and Japanese, whilst Fútbol Club Barcelona uses Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Spanish, English and Japanese.
(11) In little more than half a century, between 1954 and 2008, university work has been carried out in Switzerland (Pfändler, 1954), Italy (Mapelli, 2000), Sweden (Hansson, 2005) and the Czech Republic (Dulíková, 2008). In the Latin-American sphere, studies have been documented in Colombia (Díaz Evans, 2001) and in Spain (Castañón, 1991; Gutiérrez, 1991; Nomdedeu, 2004; Teruel, 2006 and Vivas Holgado, 1991) and a football dictionary is under preparation for 2010 prepared by Sergio Arroyo Molina in Costa Rica.

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