English Football / Soccer Idioms

English Football (Soccer) Idioms

football idioms picture source pixabayWith only a few hours to go until the 2014 world cup final in Brazil, I’ve decided to look at some football (soccer) related idioms today. Even though I’m not really into football, the worId cup is the one time when I will watch the odd game as you can’t really escape from it anyway 😉



(Football is) a game of two halves
Even though your team might lead after the first half of the game, in the second half, your team’s luck might change, and they might even lose!
Example: Spain was leading after the first half of their world cup game against the Netherlands. But they had forgotten that football is a game of two halves. They lost 1:5 in the end.

To head for an early bath
When a player has to leave the game early because he was sent off.
Example: Do you think the outcome of the Spain vs. Netherlands game would have been different if Iker Casillas had headed for an early bath?

Lifting the silverware
The winning team of the world cup gets to lift the trophy in the air.
Example: Every player dreams of lifting the silverware at the end of the tournament.

To score an own goal
To do something unintentionally which is harmful to one’s own interests and will be disadvantageous.
Example: Has Aviva scored an own goal over pensions? (source: The Telegraph headline)

To watch from the sidelines
To observe rather than getting involved in a fight, argument or activity you are interested in / should get involved in.
Example: If I hear my neighbours fighting late at night again, I won’t just watch from the sidelines anymore, I’ll call the police!

Moving the goalposts
To change the rules / aims in an unfair way so that people are either affected in a negative way or confused about what to do.
Example: Putin Has Already Successfully Moved The Goalposts On Crimea (source: Business Insider headline)

To be on the ball
To be able to quickly notice, understand and react to things that are happening around you.
Example: Even though there were a few problems during the ceremony, Peter was on the ball the entire time and made sure the guests wouldn’t notice anything.

I’d love to hear what other sports related idioms you know! Leave me a comment below with your suggestions 🙂

And if you liked this post, please share it on:

You might also like: