Home And Away In The Premier League
First Choice finds out more about the hometowns of the Premier League’s international football players.
Carlos Tevez has started to sound like a broken record. For the past year, Manchester City’s super striker has made no secret of the fact he wants to leave Manchester to join a team closer to his home country – Argentina.
Upset City supporters may be out for his truly un-blue blood but, if you look at it objectively, the man’s got a good case for going. In Manchester’s hottest month this year, the average temperature was 16˚C. In Buenos Aires’ hottest month, meanwhile, temperatures hovered around 28˚C.
Manchester 0, Buenos Aires 1 – we think you’ll agree.
Of course, Tevez isn’t the only Premier League player who has left his home town behind. Fernando Torres, Samir Nasri and Dimitar Berbatov have all moved to the UK from sunnier climes.
Here, we look at what they’re missing out on by moving to England…
|Fernando Torres Chelsea’s number 9 was born in Fuenlabrada in Spain. Torres’ home town was made for taking it easy. There’s a 150-hectare park near the centre of the town, the streets are dotted with fountains, and the restaurants serve up traditional dishes like roast suckling pig. What makes his town really special, though, is the fact it’s just 22.5 miles from Madrid. As a teenager, Torres was no more than a 20-minute tube journey from the city’s big-time designer shopping stores and some of Spain’s best bars.|
|Samir Nasri Tevez’s team mate hails from Marseilles – France’s second largest city. Chances are, Nasri spend most of his childhood kicking a ball about in the city’s parks, but he could just have easily spent his youth sunbathing on the beach or inline skating around the cosmopolitan café area of Escala Borely.|
|Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United’s striker Dimitar Berbatov grew up in Blagoevgrad in western Bulgaria. Life in his foster city might look distinctly one dimensional to Berbatov. His hometown is set against the jagged backdrop of the Rila and Pirin Mountains. Picnics in hillside forests would have been par for the course for Berbatov growing up. And, if he’d been into his fishing, he could have made trips to the spring water rivers on the outskirts of town.|
|Raphael Van der Vaart Tottenham’s number 11 calls Holland the motherland. The midfielder’s hometown Heemskerk is just 30 minutes away from Amsterdam. A 20-minute train ride would take Van Der Vaart to the heart of town, where he could watch live music and drink Heineken in Leidesplan square, brush up on his art in the Van Gogh Museum, or tuck into a plate of pancakes in a canal-side café.|
|Didier Drogba The west London location of Chelsea’s training ground is chalk compared to the cheese of Drogba’s home town. The striker was born in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast of Africa. For starters, the average monthly temperature in Abidjan never falls below 25˚C. Then there’s the food to consider. Today, Drogba’s choice of fast food comes in the form of Pret a Mange and Yo Sushi. In his former life, lunch on-the-go was fried chicken and stewed cassava from a kerbside street vendor.|
The Ones That Got Away
Not all Premiership footballers have swapped sunshine for brighter futures and bigger bank balances. Some lucky British players have struck the back of the net by signing for clubs abroad. Former Liverpool player Robbie Fowler now plays for Muanhthong United in the Thai Premier League. His stadium is in the Nonthaburi Province, northwest of Bangkok. From here it’s just a 25 minute drive into the centre of Bangkok. Sa-nuk – or fun – is the order of the day in Bangkok. The city is home to Asia’s largest shopping mall and VIP worthy nightclubs. Then there’s David Beckham. The former England captain now plays for LA Galaxy. The Beckhams have made some seriously A-list friends in America and they regularly work LA’s celebrity circuit with friends like Gordon Ramsay and the Cruises. The kids have struck lucky with Beckham’s move, too. Their home is within easy reach of Disneyland Resort.
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