Welcome to all English language learners and teachers to languagecaster.com and its free football podcast. Every week a new soccer show complete with language support for students who wish to improve their English language skills.
Learn English Through Football Podcast: Tottenham & Liverpool – Top of the League
In this short football language post the languagecaster team get together to talk about their teams’ start to the season. Damon is a Liverpool fan and Damian supports Tottenham, and, for a while, they were both top of the league divided only by goal difference. We will also take a look at some language of football too, including the phrase ‘benefit of the doubt‘. Check out our football glossary and football cliches pages for hundreds more explanations of the language of soccer. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tottenham & Liverpool – Top of the League
DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team – we hope you are all well. And down the line from Japan is Damon. Damon, it’s been a long time since we did a podcast together, how are you?
DB: Hi Damian, I’m well and it’s good to talk to you. As you said, it’s been a long time since we’ve done a show together.
DF: It is indeed. Now, the biggest football news this week, you could probably say the year in fact, was the passing of Diego Maradona, the Argentinian superstar that many, in fact if not most, pundits believe is the greatest footballer of all time.
DB: Rest In Peace Diego. And Damian has done a short post on a headline about this story this week, so check that out for more about the this amazing man.
Tottenham and Liverpool’s Start to the Season
DF: OK, Damon, well, on this show we’re going to focus on our teams, Tottenham and Liverpool and their good starts to the Premier League season. But first here’s a message.
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Italian).
DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in Spanish. Send in your message in your language to email@example.com along with any questions or suggestions you have. We’ll be answering a question we received from Raphael later in the show, but first Liverpool and Tottenham joint top of the league, which must be a first in languagecaster history. Damian, what’s been Spurs’ best game so far this season in the league?
DF: Well, after a terrible start to the season we have now remained unbeaten in the league for the last nine games and have played well in many of them. The 5-2 away win at Southampton; 2-0 at home against Manchester City and a scoreless draw away at Chelsea have been great performances but the best game of our season so far was the 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United in which both Kane and Son scored braces in our biggest win at Old Trafford for over 80 years. And you, Damon?
DB: For me, it was the match against Leicester last week. The reason is simple,
Listening Report: World Cup Stars – Maradona (From the Archives)
It’s World Cup year and on this week’s Listening Report we have chosen a report from our archives on World Cup stars. This report is on Maradona, arguably one of the best football players ever. Over the next weeks and months, we will be bringing you more World Cup star spotlights. This listening report is a shortened version of the regular weekly podcast. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link above and you can read the transcript below with key vocabulary explained at the bottom of the post. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments then please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Listening Report: Maradona
Pele may have won more World Cup titles, Ronaldo may have scored more goals, Lothar Matthäus played more games but no one has dominated the World Cup as much as Diego Maradona. He won the trophy in 1986, scored 7 goals in 21 consecutive appearances over four tournaments from 1982 to 1994 and was never far from the centre of World Cup controversy. The sad departure in 1982, the ‘Hand of God‘ and subsequent wonder goal against England in 1986, the tears in the final of 1990 and the drug scandal in 1994 have all meant that Diego Maradona is a definite part of World Cup history.
When the 1982 World Cup in Spain started, Maradona was playing his club football with Barcelona and the whole world was waiting for him to shine, unfortunately so were the defences of other participating nations who ganged up on him and, much like Pele in 1966, kicked him out of the tournament. Maradona never really got going and his frustration was evident from the atrocious tackle on Brazilian player Dirceu in the second round that gave him a straight red card as his side was eliminated.
Four years later in Mexico and this time he was at the peak of his career. Many focus only on the so-called ‘Hand of God’ moment against England but he also scored against Italy in the group stage and then in the knock-out rounds he got the winners against England and Belgium before playing the match-winning pass in the World Cup final against Germany to help Argentina lift the trophy. He was, quite simply, the best player in the world. Though this team had great players it was clear that they were carried to the title by the skill, the pride, the courage, the technique and the determination of their leader Maradona.
He almost did it again four years later in Italia 90 with a much weaker side and despite the fact that he was hampered by injuries, Maradona took the team to the final – his assist for the goal against Brazil in the second round a particularly sweet moment – before losing to West Germany on a controversial penalty. The following World Cup in 1994 turned out to be the low point in his football life as he was banned from the competition for taking illegal drugs and he returned home in disgrace never to play for the national team again.
However, his pride at representing his country, his intense passion for the game, the style with which he played it and the fact that he made people fall in love with the sport has meant that despite the controversies that seemed to follow him, Diego Maradona is the greatest ever World Cup star.
Football Langage Podcast: Creating chances
On today’s football language listening post we look at some words and phrases connected to creating chances in football and in particular the verbs, ‘to fashion’; ‘to set up’ and ‘to conjure up‘. For this audio report there is a transcript which is great for learners and teachers of English. If you have questions or comments about this, or any other football phrase, you can email us at: email@example.com.
Football Language: Creating Chances
DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team – we hope you are all well and in this short football language podcast we are going to look at some verbs connected to the creation of chances in football: to fashion a chance, to set up a chance, to engineer a chance and to conjure up a chance.
Stinger: Hi my name’s David and I’m from London and I’m an Arsenal fan and you are listening to languagecaster.com.
DF: We use the word ‘chance‘ in football to describe a time during the game when a team has the possibility to score a goal. These chances can be described as ‘clear’, that is, there is a high possibility of scoring or converting the chance or maybe the chance is only a half-chance, which obviously means there is much less chance of scoring. But what kind of language can we use to describe how these chances are made?
Set up a chance
Well, in addition to the verb, ‘to make’, we can also use the verbal phrase ‘to set up a chance‘, so for example, ‘Maddison set up a clear chance for Vardy’ means that Leicester’s Vardy had a chance to score thanks to his team mate Maddison. We can also say to set up a goal which is when the chance has been converted.
Fashion/Engineer a chance
Another verb that can be used with ‘chance’ is to create – to create a chance. So, you might hear the phrase ‘Manchester City created a lot of chances but were unable to score’ which means they failed to score despite making a lot of opportunities. Another verb that collocates with ‘chance’ is to ‘fashion a chance‘ – to fashion usually refers to someone making something with their hands but in football it means to create or make a chance, for example, the playmaker fashioned a wonderful chance for the striker who then slotted the ball home. We can also hear the verb, ‘to engineer a chance‘ which means something similar to fashion, though maybe not as common.
Conjure up a chance
Sometimes we say that a chance has been created from nothing, which means that an opportunity to score a goal has appeared from nowhere and when this happens we might say that it was conjured up as this has a sense of something magical – the verb to conjure is associated with magic. The winger conjured up a chance out of nothing when she beat the defender suggests that no one was expecting the chance to be created but the player did something special; something magical.
Stinger: ‘You are listening to languagecaster.com’ (in Catalan).
DF: Thanks everyone for listening – we hope you enjoyed our look at the five verbs that link with the noun ‘chance‘: ‘to fashion‘; ‘to conjure up‘; ‘to engineer‘; ‘to set upR...
Football Language Podcast: Masterclass
In this short football language post we explain the expression ‘masterclass‘ and how it is used in football. Check out our football glossary and football cliches pages for hundreds more explanations of the language of soccer. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Football Language: Masterclass
DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team – we hope you are all well and in this short football language podcast we are going to look at the phrase ‘masterclass‘ and how it is used in football. Don’t forget that there is a transcript for this report which can be accessed from our site at languagecaster.com.
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Irish).
The phrase ‘masterclass‘ is often used to describe the situation when an expert gives a lesson to someone who is not at the same level of expertise – imagine a young actor receiving an acting lesson from Meryl Streep or Al Pacino, for example. In football this word is used when a player, a manager or a team have completely outplayed the opposition; so we might hear the phrase ‘a footballing masterclass‘; ‘a striker’s masterclass‘ or even ‘a Mourinho masterclass‘.
If the phrase ‘football masterclass‘ is used it suggests that one team is so much better than the opposition in every aspect of the game: attack, defence, tactics, shooting and so on. If we use the word with a position on the pitch, for example, ‘she gave a defensive masterclass‘ then it means that one player has not only outplayed the opposition but has played so well that other players should also look up to them in order to learn how to be a better defender. We can also hear it used with a style of play so, for example, a counter-attacking masterclass is when one team has used a counter-attacking style to great effect.
Sometimes we can also hear the word ‘masterclass‘ with a name of a player or a manager placed before it – a Mourinho masterclass – when their team has played really well in the way that this player or manager is associated with. So José Mourinho is well known as a defensive coach who can set up his team to counter attack and in Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Manchester City this is exactly what happened – his team sat deep and hit City on the break. It was a Mourinho masterclass in that it was typical of his team’s style and it also worked to perfection; other club managers who want to do the same should look to this performance to learn how to do something similar.
Stinger: You’re listening to languagecaster.com (in Dutch).
DF: Thanks everyone for listening – we hope you enjoyed our look at the phrase ‘masterclass‘ and how it is used in football. Listen out for examples of this word when you are watching or reading about football, indeed, maybe you can let us know how this phrase is said in other languages. Drop us a line at a href="mailto:admin@l...
Football Language Podcast: Parent Club
On today’s football language listening post we look at a football expression linked to transfers – parent club. For this audio report there is a transcript which is great for learners and teachers of English. If you have questions or comments about this, or any other football phrase, you can email us at: email@example.com.
Football Language: Parent Club
DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team – we hope you are all well and in this short football language podcast, I am going to look at a phrase that is linked to the world of transfers and this phrase is parent club. We will also look at the phrase ‘to come back to haunt their club‘.
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Thai).
DF: So, when a player moves from one club to play with another one we call it a transfer but there are different kinds of transfers. Some of them may involve huge sums of money and this is a transfer fee, while others may see no money changing hands at all (and this is a free transfer). There are also times when a club lets a player go to another club for a short period of time and this is known as a loan. Mostly this type of transfer is free but an increasing number of these loan deals now involve money too – although much smaller sums of cash than the bigger transfers.
When a player is involved in a loan deal we call the player a loanee and the club that they leave is known as the parent club. Different leagues and competitions have different rules about whether a player can play against their parent club as it may be seen as a conflict of interest if they did. In the Premier League in England, for example, loanees are not allowed to play against their parent clubs but this rule is different in cup competitions meaning a player can do so unless they are cup tied which means that they have already played for their parent club and so are unable to play for another club in the same competition.
An interesting verb used when a loanee scores against their parent club is ‘to haunt‘ which of course is normally heard when describing what ghosts do. If a player haunts their parent club it means that they have played well or maybe even scored a goal against this club – they have come back to haunt their parent club. A recent example of a player haunting their previous club was when Bayern Munich thrashed Barcelona 8-2 in the Champions League quarter final. Barcelona had loaned Philippe Coutinho to Bayern Munich but he came back to haunt them when he scored a brace and also provided an assist for another in their eight-goal hammering of Barcelona. Coutinho didn’t really celebrate too much out of respect for his parent club and of course there was a real chance that he would return to Barcelona at the end of the loan period. I wonder what you think, should players celebrate when scoring against their parent club?
Stinger: Hello everybody, my name’s Umid. I am from Tashkent. I will tell you know ‘you are listening to languagecaster.
Football Language Podcast: Clean and Dirty
On today’s football language listening post we look at football phrases connected to the words clean and dirty. How many expressions with dirty or clean in them are used in football? For this audio report there is a transcript which is great for learners and teachers of English. If you have questions or comments about this, or any other football phrase, you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Football Language Podcast: Clean and Dirty
DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team – we hope you are all well and in this short football language podcast, I am going to look at some language connected to the words ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’.
Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Greek).
DF: OK, let’s start with a couple of phrases connected to tackling. A dirty tackle is used to describe a really bad foul by a player trying to win the ball in a tackle, sometimes known as an x-rated tackle because it is so bad. There is a suggestion that the player – the tackler – has deliberately tried to hurt the opposing player, maybe they have left their foot in or gone over the ball, which is an over the top tackle. Similarly, we might also hear the phrase ‘the defender cleaned out the forward‘ which means that the defender has hit the ball and the player at the same time meaning there is no way that that attacker is getting past that defender!
In addition to the phrase ‘dirty tackle’ we can also use ‘clean tackle’ which is one where the defender takes the ball away from the attacker without committing a foul or sometimes we use it to say that the ball was taken away so cleanly that the defender didn’t even touch the attacker. Another phrase that we can sometimes hear is ‘a dirty player‘ which is used to describe a player who commits a lot of dirty tackles. We might sometimes hear the phrase ‘a clean player‘ but it’s not so common though the phrase ‘not that type of player’ is often used by a manager or fans to defend a player who might have committed a dirty tackle.
Now the next phrase is clean through and this phrase means that a player is through on goal after breaking clear of the defence and finding themself ‘one on one’ with the keeper. The player with the ball then has some options: they might then smash the ball home, dink it over the goalkeeper or go round the keeper and then slot it home.
OK, so to hit the ball cleanly or to strike the ball cleanly means to hit the ball very well or to hit it sweetly. There is a suggestion that the player has used great technique to hit the ball in this way, so we can hear the phrase a ‘cleanly-struck shot’ to describe a powerfully and beautifully hit shot.
Clean sweep of wins/trophies
So a clean sweep is when a team wins everything there is to win: maybe all the competitions they enter in a particular season or when one team defeats all the other teams in a group. So, for example, Belgium completed a clean sweep of wins in their 2014 World Cup group matches...
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A free weekly podcast for learners of English about football.
What a cool idea! Informative, smart and funny, Damon and Damian keep EFL/ESL students up to date with all that is going on in the soccer world. Regular sections on the show include a weekly review of the football stories, English phrases used in football and predictions. There are worksheets, transcripts, polls and vocabulary lists on their website too.