BARCELONA superstar Lionel Messi is having as big an impact on UK classrooms as he is on the Camp Nou pitch.

Entries for Spanish GCSEs have rocketed and are likely to displace French as the most popular language taught in British Schools, as children see it as more useful.

Exam chiefs have attributed it to the ‘Messi impact’ and the growing dominance of Barcelona and Real Madrid on the world football stage.

“Young people are more exposed now to Spanish culture, from music to food to high-profile Spanish-speaking personalities such as Lionel Messi,” said Lesley Davies, Director of Standards at Pearson, owner of the Edexcel board.

Last year saw a 1.9% increase in children taking Spanish GCSEs, while those taking French dropped by almost 3%.



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