Baggies No.9 speaks to the Sunday papers
SALOMON Rondon claimed another major step forward in his Premier League career this week - by conducting his first major press conference in English.
The Baggies No.9 has made learning the Mother tongue of his professional homeland one of the key ingredients of success and the 27-year-old from Venezuela acquitted himself superbly as he tackled a grilling from the Sunday press.
It was a little more than a year after “Salo” arrived at The Hawthorns able only to understand the odd English word or expression.
In the build-up to the Burnley game at The Hawthorns tomorrow, Rondon tackled a wide range of subjects with aplomb, proving he is getting to grips with the ‘lingo’ and feeling more and more comfortable in and around the dressing room banter.
“I take lessons sometimes in my house, I understand well, but when I speak I feel nervous,” he explained. “Journalists need to speak to me slowly and then I will understand that.
“But it is important for me to learn the language of the dressing room. Because then I can speak to people there - Claudio Yacob helps me sometimes - but someone like Boaz still speaks too quickly for me sometimes.
“I have to say "sorry, can you say that again?"
“But I think it's important for me to speak the language and to interact with everybody. They know I don't speak English well.
"It's difficult because in South America our English is like American English so the pronunciation in England is different. But it's no problem for me to take lessons and learn.”
Salomon found himself tackling questions ranging from Ruud van Nistelrooy, Manuel Pelligrini, the British weather – “I feel colder in the winter here than I did in Russia” - and even his favourite TV programmes.
But his favourite part of life in Britain may surprise Albion fans.
“I like the quality of life and calmness,” he says. “The life of a footballer here is very calm, people respect you when you're in a restaurant, they wait for you to finish your meal before they ask for a picture.
“In Venezuela, they are very passionate and Latin. I'm halfway through cutting my chicken and people are asking for photos!”