Football vocabulary is useful for discussing football matches, understanding commentary ad giving your opinions.
As football is so popular in the UK, some of these words and phrases may come in handy!
General English Football Vocabulary
Footballer, player, manager, player-manager, coach
Squad, team, first team, reserves, substitutes
Supporters, crowd, fans
Match, game, commentator, club, team
The attack, forward, striker, attacker, target man
The defense, defender, fullback, right back, left back, central defender, centre half, sweeper
The midfield, midfielder, winger
Goalkeeper, keeper, goalie
Referee, ref, linesman / lineswoman, forth official
Pitch, ground, stands, stadium, terrace
Booked, sent off, red card, yellow card, foul, hand ball, obstruction, trip, push
Offside, disallowed, ruled out
Throw-in, goal kick, corner kick, free kick, penalty, direct / indirect free kick, defensive wall
Own goal, hat-trick, brace
Corner flag, goal mouth, touch line, penalty box / penalty area / the box / the area, post, cross bar, net
Half time, full time, final whistle
Dressing room, changing room, dugout
Kit, shirt, shorts, socks, football boots, studs, shin pads/guards
Man of the match, player of the match
The football league, the premiership, the women’s super league (WSL), the champions’ league, non-league
FA Cup, League Cup, World Cup, European Championships, Coppa America, African Nations
FA (Football Association – body governing men’s football in England)
WFA (Women’s football association – body governing women’s football in England)
PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association)
UEFA – Union of European Football Associations
FIFA – Fédération Internationale de Football Association (trans. International Association of Association Football)
Premier League – top division in men’s football
Championship – second division in men’s football
WSL / Women’s Super League – top division in women’s football
a tackle, a pass, a header, a cross, a shot, a lob, a back pass, a dive, a deflection, a deflected shot, an interception
to shoot, to score, to tackle, to cross, to pass, to dive, to intercept
three-two, one-nil, two all, a draw, a score draw, won (to win), lost (to lose), drew (to draw)
English football vocabulary and phrases
Common slang phrases
‘on the bench’ – a substitute
‘a dive’ – pretending to be fouled by falling over
‘an early bath’ – left the pitch early, sent off
‘early doors’ – early in the match
‘a shimmy’ – to shuffle the feet to confuse another player
‘a one-two’ – a fast, one-touch move where a player passes the ball to a team mate and receives the ball straight back again
‘to get a red card’ – to be sent off
‘to get a yellow card’ – to be booked
‘It’s hit the bar’ – the shot hit the cross bar
‘a tap in’ – an easy goal where a player just taps the ball into the net from close range
‘a nutmeg’ – a cheeky move where a player passes the ball through another player’s legs
‘He’s scored a brace of goals’ – he’s scored two goals in the same match
‘That’s a hat-trick’ – when someone has scored three goals in the same match
‘On the edge of the area’ – on the edge of the penalty box
Football phrases you might want to use
Which team do you support?
Did you see that tackle?
That must be a penalty!
How long until half time?
How long have they been playing?
I can’t believe he didn’t score from there!
Football phrases you may hear on television or at a live match
The ref has blown his whistle for half time
He’s crossed it into the box
He’s brought him down and that will surely mean a yellow card
That’s a good run
The goal has been disallowed
The score is one – nil
It’s a draw
Share your thoughts on football vocabulary
Can you think of more useful vocabulary to discuss football?
Are there any football phrases you find confusing?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!