World Cup 2018 survival guide: Essential football lingo glossary

World Cup 2018 fever has well and truly kicked off. And, with the games about to get underway, there’s no better time than now to scrub up on the lingo you’ll need to survive this year’s World Cup tournament.

So, just in time for the World Cup, here’s some essential football lingo from around the world we dug up for you:

Argentina

Golazo (great goal): You’ll hear fans and commentators shouting this whenever there’s a brilliant strike.

Hacer la cama (to make the bed): A term used when a squad is thought to be conspiring to get their coach sacked.

Manos de manteca (butter hands): You’ll hear fans yell this at a dodgy goalkeeper.

Belgium

Pisballetje (pee shot): A poor attempt at a goal kick that doesn’t reach its target.

Brazil

Chapéu (hat): Having an opponent lift the ball over your head.

Craque (ace): The word comes from the English military term “crack”, which was used for an elite soldier. When it comes to football for the Brazilians, the term is used for any football legend – like Pele, Ronaldo or Neymar.

De três dedos (with 3 toes): To swerve the ball with the outside of your foot.

Mata-mata (kill-kill): “Sudden death” in a penalty shootout.

Colombia

El scorpion (the scorpion): The legendary ‘scorpion’ save, as mastered by Colombian keeper Rene “El Loco” René Higuita against England back in 1995.

Croatia

Promašio večeru (to miss one’s dinner): When a player messes up an easy chance at a goal.

France

Patate (potato): A term for a high-speed, long-range goal.

Fessee (spanking): A crushing defeat.

Germany

Arschkarte (arse card): A term for a red card. Called ‘Arschkarte’ because the referee keeps the card in his back pocket.

Blutgrätsche (blood tackle): A dangerous, studs-up tackle.

Italy

Gollonzo (comedy goal): A goal scored in comical circumstances.

Japan

Shugoshin (guardian deity): A particularly inspiring performance from a goalkeeper.

Peru

Amarrabola (ball-lover): When a player is so attached to the ball, he decides not to pass it to anyone else.

Poland

Podanie na zapalenie pluc (pneumonia pass): A poor pass.

Portugal

Banho de bola (shower of balls): When a team has completely wiped out its opponent.

Ficar na mama (stay at the teat): Used to describe a striker who doesn’t want to leave the penalty area in case they miss out on a chance to score.

Russia

Derevo (tree): A technically inadequate player – typically used for someone that’s tall and doesn’t move around much.

Serbia

Otresti ga kao slinu (to shake someone off like saliva): Used when a player dominates an opponent.

South Korea

Ddong-ball (poop ball): A term used for a bad pass, shot or clearance.

Spain

Cagómetro (crapping-yourself-ometer): When your team is under extreme pressure.

Pintalo de amarillo (paint him yellow): When a player calls on the referee to hand out a yellow card.

Tuercebotas (twisted boots): A player with 2 left feet.

Sources:

Do You Speak Football?: A Glossary Of Football Words And Phrases From Around The World – Tom Williams, Bloomsbury Sport, 2018

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