A-Z Football Lexicon

by / Monday, 30 June 2014

Football Vocabulary

This month World Cup fever takes over the globe as the best teams in the world go head to head in an attempt to win the ultimate prize in football. If you are watching some of the matches on TV then you are very likely to hear a whole range of football specific vocabulary. To help you with this, an A-Z of football lexis is included below. Enjoy the games and why not see how many of the following words and phrases you can hear the commentator using.


A is for attacker. A forward player who usually wears number 9 or 10 and is expected to score the goals for his team. “Messi is an attacker.”


B is for back heel. To kick the ball backwards with the heel. “That was a clever little back heel from Neymar.”


C is for caution. Another name for a yellow card. “He received a caution from the referee for diving.”


D is for dive. To deliberately fall to the ground after a supposed foul. “That was a clear dive by Robben.”


E is for equaliser. Goal that ties the scores and draws the teams level. “That was a marvellous equaliser. It’s now 2-2.”


F is for free kick.  A set piece kick after a foul. “The referee has awarded Chile a free kick just outside the box.”


G is for group of death.   A very difficult group stage mini league. “England have been drawn in the group of death with Italy and Uruguay.”


H is for hat-trick . Three goals scored by one player. “Van Persie completed his hat-trick with a powerful header passed the goalkeeper.”


I is for injury time.  Additional few minutes added at the end of each half of a

Game. “We are now into the final minute of injury time and Brazil still lead 2-1.”


J is for jog. To run slowly. “The players are jogging back onto the pitch for the second half.”


K is for keep possession. Retain control of the ball. “The Mexican team is very good at keeping possession.”


L is for line-up. The players selected to play a match. “The Argentina line-up looks very strong.”


M is for man-to-man marking. Tactic of one defender to one attacker. “The best way to stop Ronaldo is by man-to-man marking him.”



N is for nutmeg. Trick involving kicking the ball through another player’s

legs. “That was a superb little nutmeg by Alexi Sanchez.”


O is for one-touch football. Passing involving each player touching the ball

just once for each pass. “Brazil are playing some lovely one-touch football.”


P is for pitch. The football field; the place where the game takes place. “The players are slipping a lot on this wet pitch.”


Q is for qualify. To successfully reach a major tournament. “Do you think Scotland will ever qualify for the World Cup again?


R is for red card. Sending off. Serious offence when a player must leave the game. “The referee has given 2 red cards in this match so far.”


S is for substitute. Replacement player. “France are going to bring on a second substitute.”


T is for time-wasting. The process of running down the clock at the end of a match. “The time-wasting from Germany has been a disgrace.”


U is for unused sub. A substitute who doesn’t enter the pitch during the match. “Davi Villa was an unused sub.”


V is for volley.  When the ball is struck in mid-air without first touching the ground. “What a fantastic volley from Benzema.”


W is for the woodwork. Frame of the goal. “That free kick from Rooney smashed off the woodwork.”


X is for x-rated tackle. A very aggressive and dangerous tackle. “That was an x-rated tackle by the big defender.”


Y is for yellow card. Caution. “The referee has given out 8 yellow cards in this match.”


Z is for zonal marking. To defend a specific area of the field at a corner, free kick etc. “England usually use zonal marking at corners.”