Yet again, England have made an early exit from the World Cup, this time not even getting past the group stage. This has sparked another round of soul-searching amongst English football fans, players and pundits alike: what went wrong? One aspect of British football culture that might be a factor is English players’ relative lack of experience abroad. In comparison to the many footballers from continental Europe who have found success in foreign clubs - not least the English Premier League - relatively few British players have done well abroad in recent decades. In an article on the CNN website called ‘Real Madrid's Gareth Bale hopes to avoid the curse of British players abroad’, Matt Majendie suggests that a significant factor holding British players back from foreign success is the language barrier. Gary Lineker, who enjoyed great success with Barcelona in the late 80’s, recalls that, "I looked at British players who went abroad and were successful. They were the ones who learned the language and adapted to the culture. The ones that didn't tended to be home pretty quickly." Kris Thackray, an English footballer currently with German side Alemannia Aachen, agrees: “language is the most important thing, not knowing it isolates you and stops you from expressing your personality and prevents you from understanding simple messages on and off the pitch." Football, then, provides yet another illustration of the huge benefits of bursting the Anglophone bubble and learning another language.