glossary is intended to offer a working vocabulary for those not thoroughly
familiar with either the language of football in general or of English
football in particular. This list of terms and phrases is by no means
complete. From time to time, as we have the time, we will add to the
list and fill in the definitions. We are not experts on the
origins or history of football or its language. But we have followed the
game long enough to become fairly familiar with football usage. Terms and phrases appearing in red in the definitions are
themselves defined in this glossary. Some are linked
to fuller explanations appearing elsewhere on this website.
We welcome contributions, corrections, additions and
1/8 final - The
designation given to knockout matches in the quarterfinals of tournament play,
particularly in Continental Europe and Latin America, since eight teams remain
in contention at that stage of the competition. The teams emerging
successfully from the quarterfinals, either by winning the match or by
outscoring their opponents in a penalty kick shoot-out after play has ended in
a draw, proceed to the semi-finals.
1/16 final - The
designation given knockout matches in the round of 16 teams in tournament
play, particularly in Continental Europe and Latin America, since 16 teams
remain in contention at that stage of the competition. The teams
emerging successfully from the round of 16 teams, either by winning the match
or by outscoring their opponents in a penalty kick shootout after play has
ended in a draw, proceed to the quarter-finals.
11 - The
number of players on the pitch for a team when it is at full-strength.
It is often used in the U.K. as shorthand for "team," as in
"the England 11 dominated throughout."
Known as The Pyramid because of its triangular
shape. Came into existence in the late nineteenth century and was popularly
used by clubs in matches up until 1925, when the offside law was changed.
- The most common
formation you will likely see in British football is the 4-4-2. It's made up
of four defenders, four midfielders and two strikers. It is an adaptable
system where you have strength in midfield and plenty of width. Having two
strikers means that the front line has extra support rather than having to
wait for the midfield to reach them.
The 4—2—4 formation attempts to combine a strong
attack with a strong defence, and was conceived as a reaction to WM's
stiffness. It could also be considered a further development of the WW. The
4—2—4 was the first formation to be described using numbers.
The 4—3—3 was a development of the 4—2—4, and was
played by the Brazilian national team in the 1962 World Cup, although a 4—3—3
had also previously been used by the Uruguay national team in the 1950 and
1954 World Cups. The extra player in midfield allows a stronger defence, and
the midfield could be staggered for different effects. The three midfielders
normally play closely together to protect the defence, and move laterally
across the field as a coordinated unit.
This formation is similar to 5—3—2 except that the
two wingmen are oriented more towards the attack. Because of this, the central
midfielder tends to remain further back in order to help prevent
counter-attacks. It differs from the classical 3—5—2 of the WW by having a
non-staggered midfield. Terry Venables notably used this formation (along with
a diamond midfield) during England's campaign at UEFA Euro 1996, with Gareth
Southgate or Paul Ince acting as defensive midfielder.
XI - The
Roman numeral designation for the number of players on the pitch for a team
when it is at full-strength, 11. It is often used to designate a
representative team specially assembled for a commemorative occasion or a
tour, as in, "An F.A. XI visited Canada long before the full senior
England team did."
a.e.t. or aet -
The abbreviation for "after extra-time."
AFC - The
Asian Football Confederation, founded on 8 May 1954. It governs the game
throughout Asia and added Australia to its members in 2006.
A team - The No. 1 or strongest team
a club or a country fields. It is sometimes referred to as the senior
A match that has started that for various reasons,
cannot be completed, usually through bad weather, but crowd disturbance and
floodlight failure are also cited reasons.
A German multinational corporation, headquartered in
Herzogenaurach, Germany, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and
accessories. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the
second biggest in the world, founded by Adolf Dassler, registered on 18 August
Generally used to describe a team winning a cup tie
to move on to the next round.
Fouls are often committed during a soccer match. It
is the responsibility of the referee to call out these offences and punish
those players failing to adhere to the Laws of the Game. However, there are
times when the referee lets the play to continue despite an obvious foul being
committed. This exclusive power bestowed on the referee is expressed under the
The Advantage Clause is open for interpretation. If
a misconduct occurs and the referee lets the play to go on, he is supposed to
show the appropriate card to the offender at the next stoppage. This rule is
claimed to be subjective on occasions. It is made more interesting as the Laws
do not expressly state the precise time that the referee has to allow for the
anticipated advantage to be played. The referee is required to decide within a
When the majority of the game is played with the
ball in the air.
The ability to play the ball in the air, usually
with the head.
In knock-out competitions or competition stages,
teams maybe required to play an extra 30 minutes when the deciding leg, or
replay, has not produced a winner by the end of regulation time. Extra time is
governed by the rules of the tournament, rather than the laws of the game. It
follows a short break where players remain on or around the field of play and
comprises two straight fifteen-minute periods, with teams changing ends in
term used in England to denote a draw, as in "They
finished 2-all." Why "2-both" is not used instead of
"2-all" since only two tems play a match is unknown to
A stadium where every spectator has a seat.
Clydebank FC (1977), Aberdeen FC (1978), Coventry City FC (1981) and Luton
Town AFC (1985) were the first UK clubs to convert their stadiums to
all-seated. All-seater stadiums became compulsary in the FA Premier League
from 1994 following the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989.
Tickets must be bought in advance, in other words,
no tickets are available on the day of the match at the venue of the match.
The term used to denote a player's participation in a match, as in, "He
made 10 appearances for Arsenal last season," or "He made a
single appearance for England." In international football, a player is said to earn a cap
for every appearance for the national side, whether it is starting or a substitute
The term to describe the status of a player. If he
is not payed to play, he remains an Amateur.
A term often used to describe fighting on the
pitch between the players. More often than not, it is opposing sides, but
this is by no means exclusive. Team-mates have often had argie-bargies too.
A surface of synthetic fibers made to look like
natural grass. They have become a part of football folk-law in two phases. The
first phase, the plastic pitch was installed by four clubs in the early
1980's, notably Queen's Park Rangers FC, Luton Town FC, Oldham Athletic FC and
Preston North End FC. They were unsuccessful experiments and were subsequently
ripped up during the 1990's, being banned by the Football League in 1995. The
second phase introduced the 3G pitches in 2012 and are allowed by lower league
clubs in England from 2015, prominently, Sutton United FC, and are allowed in
the FA Cup competition, as well as UEFA competitions.
The skill and flare of some players can be described
as an artistry.
The definition of the game to distinguish it from,
at first, the rugby code, and latterly, the American, Australian and Gaelic
forms of the game.
At the end of the day -
A phrase which has recently become indispensable to conversation about
football in England, particularly when addressing something unpleasant to
contemplate. It apparently means something similar to "after all is
said and done," as in, "At the end of the day, they were better than
we were" or, "At the end of the day, we just can't make those kinds
of mistakes without paying a price." It
as the most overused term or phrase in English football today.
Assist - A
term common in basketball and especially ice hockey and denoting the credit
given to one who contributes directly to a score by another as by
furnishing the ball to the player who scores the goal.
concept is slowly creeping into football, although it is meeting strong
opposition from traditionalists. It is strange that football, as much a
team sport as either ice hockey or basketball, has no formal method of noting
the contribution to a goal of players other than the scorer himself, for often
a goal is far more the product of the playmaker than the scorer, who may, for
example, merely tap the ball into an empty net after it has been served to him
on a silver platter through a brilliant piece of play from
another. Opposition in England to credit for assists is no doubt
premised largely on dislike for anything smacking of American sports,
including their love of statistics.
Away goals rule
Balloon ball or shot
Brave - A
popular description among English football journalists for a favoured team
that has lost an important match. Its use is almost always required if
the winning team is foreign and the losing team is English, in which case it
is rejected out of hand only if the losing team displayed abject cowardice on
the pitch. It is often accompanied by "little," as in
"brave little Ipswich went down to Real Madrid last night, 6-0,"
although "brave" is used without "little" if the losing
team is England's national side or Manchester United, which, we suppose, is a massive
club even to journalists.
British Championship -
British Sports Writers'
Calcio - The name given the
game of football in Italy.
Centre back -
Centre spot -
Change of pace
Chest save -
Clean sheet -
Close down -
Club side or team
Coin toss -
Comfortable on the ball
Competition rules or
Competitive matches -
A term of comparatively recent origin designating matches which are part of a
tournament or stand-alone matches which are played for a cup or other award or
prize. It is sometimes used to refer only to matches which are part of
one of the major tournaments--the World Cup, the Confederations Cup and the
various confederation championships, such as the European Championship
and the Copa Am—rica.
The term is often used in a pejorative manner to denigrate friendly matches--unfairly
since even friendly matches are competitive in the sense that both teams are
trying to win (or supposed to be trying to win under FIFA's fair play rule).
Consolation match -
Corner arc -
Corner flag -
Corner kick -
Cross-pitch or cross-field
Cruciate ligament injury
Curled ball -
Curved ball -
Danger zone -
Dead ball -
Dead kick -
Dead leg -
Direct free kick
Draw - The result when two
teams score the same number of goals in a match. This result is
sometimes called a tie.
Draw - The
allegedly random process by which teams are selected to play each other in a
round of a cup competition or to
play in a group in the initial stage of a tournament. FIFA has turned its World Cup
draws--held both before the preliminary or qualifying stage of the tournament
and, after qualification has finished, before the final tournament--into huge
events, replete with entertainment celebrities, famous footballers and stage
shows, televised around the world. Because a team's fate often depends
upon which group it is drawn into--on which hinges which opponents it must
play--a huge audience tunes in. FIFA's current president, Joseph
S. Blatter, achieved worldwide fame when, as plain old Sepp Blatter before his
promotion to the top spot, he presided over televised World Cup draws,
particularly after American comedian Robin Williams insisted on calling him
"Mr. Bladder" at the draw for the 1994 tournament in Las
Vegas. While not quite as extravagant, UEFA's European Championship draws are
televised throughout Europe. Football Association
Challenge Cup, more commonly known as F.A. Cup, draws are also
widely-watched televised events in England, with well-known football
personalities usually making the draws that pair
the teams for the next round in the competition.
Draw lots -
feints, twists, turns, tricks and general ball artistry by which the player in
possession of the ball attempts to deceive, outwit or simply outmanoeuvre a
defending player to get past or away from him.
Drop back -
Drop ball -
"Selling the dummy."
See "1/8 final"
Europa league -
European Champions League
European Champion Clubs' Cup
European Cup Winners' Cup
European Football Championship
European Super Cup
- See "Friendly matches".
Extra-time - the
additional playing time, consisting of 30 minutes in first class football,
which is added on to a tournament or cup elimination or knockout match when
the teams are level or drawn after regulation time has ended. It is the
equivalent of overtime in ice hockey playoff matches, although football
purists bristle when they hear extra-time called overtime, as it is sometimes
in North America.
Shortened form of "Football
F.A. Cup -
The oldest cup competition in the world, played
annually since 1872.
Fair play rule
Fairs Cup -
Far corner -
Far post -
Far side -
Fast surface -
Field of play -
Final match -
First half -
First touch -
- A match which has been arranged to
take place between two designated teams at a definite place and time.
- A list of fixtures, of matches to
be played; a schedule of future matches.
Flighted ball -
- The term applied by the English
media to describe any goal scored by foreign team against an English team by
way of skill not possessed by English players.
Folha seca -
Falling leaf. The Portuguese phrased used in Brazil to refer to the swerving
free kick invented by the wonderful Didi to circumvent the defensive wall.
It was so named because of its unpredictable curving quality, much like the
eddies of a falling leaf.
- The governing body that oversee's the game of
football in England, from grass roots level, up to the national team.
Challenge Cup -
See "FA Cup"
Football club -
Football League Cup
Footballer of the Year
Forward line -
Foul throw -
- Stand-alone matches which are not part of a tournament or a contest for a
cup or other award or prize and which are played for the sake of the match
alone. They are sometimes referred to as "exhibition" matches
by those who do not consider them competitive in the strictest sense of the
term, regrettable usage since all matches are competitive in the sense that
both teams are trying to win (or supposed to be trying to win under FIFA's
fair play rule) and thus not merely putting on an exhibition.
"Friendly matches" is often used loosely--and incorrectly--to
include all matches not part of one of the major tournaments--the World Cup, the
Confederations Cup and the various confederation championships, such as the
European Championship, formerly known as the European Nations Cup, and the
formerly known as the South American Championship. Thus it is sometimes
used to include matches that are part of minor tournaments and matches
regularly played for minor cups or awards. On this website, we have tried
to use the term in its proper sense as a reference to stand-alone matches
played merely for the sake of the match itself, and we have separately
categorised matches that were part of a minor tournament and matches regularly
contested for a cup or other award or prize.
Front block tackle
The name of a position occupied by players who
constitute or are part of the team's last line of defence. They play all
the way back--fully back--and, hence they are fullbacks. In the earliest
of the modern formations, the 2-3-5 formation which dominated the game until
the late 1920s, the last line of defence consisted solely of left and right
fullbacks playing directly in front of the goalkeeper. In the late1920s
and 1930s, when the centre-halfback was moved back into a position between the
two fullback in the modification of the 2-3-5 formation known as the W-M
formation (3-2-2-3 or 3-4-3), he became a central defender (although the
British still confusingly referred to him as a centre-half) and the left and
right fullbacks played either side of him. The 4-2-4 formation, which
first appeared in the late 1950s, made use of two central defenders, still
between left and right fullbacks, as did the more defensive 4-4-2 formation of
the 1960s, which is still in vogue today. In these formations, the
fullbacks were sometimes allowed to make occasional forays on attack, taking
temporarily a position in advance of their team's halfbacks or midfielders and
thus becoming overlapping fullbacks. A still later formation, the 3-5-2,
dispenses with traditional fullbacks altogether, deploying three central
defenders who are assisted at the back by so-called left and right wingbacks,
who fill the fullback's defending role when required but are also expected to
play in the midfield and even on attack as a regular matter.
sport of football, as in, "The influx of big money has ruined the
game." "Game" is also often used as a synonym for "match,"
a specific contest between two teams on the field of play, although it
is more properly used as a reference to the entire sport.
The nickname of Paul Gascoigne, the midfield maestro
that dazzled on the pitch, but found so much trouble of it.
an indispensable part of the kit for
goalkeepers. They now have a special
adhesive quality that makes it easier to catch, grip and hang on to the
ball. Many outfield players in the colder climates have long worn gloves
in the winter months, but they were rarely seen on outfield players in English
football until the recent influx of foreign players used to warmer
climates. In England, gloves on outfield players are still widely
considered an unbecoming accoutrement indicating weakness.
Goal area -
Goal average -
Goal box -
Goal difference - The
plus or minus sum reached by subtracting goals scored against a team [goals
against] from the goals scored by that
team [goals for].
Goal difference is the most popular means for breaking the deadlock in the table
or standings occurring when two or more teams
have earned the same number of points
play. The team with the better goal difference is given the
advantage. The means
Goal line -
Goal kick -
Goal net -
Goals against -
Goals for -
Gold Cup -
Golden goal -
name FIFA has formally given to a goal
scored in extra-time which wins the match
for the scoring team and brings an end to the match. It is also known as
a "sudden death" goal.
Governor or Guv'nor
Great Britain -
Group of death
Group phase or stage
Group play -
- The interval which occurs midway through
the match, between the first half and the second half, which are each 45
minutes in length plus any time added on.
Half-time was once 10 minutes in length in English football, but, after the
advent of televised matches, it was lengthened to 15 minutes.
Halfway line -
Half volley -
Hand of God
Hands or handball
Hard man -
Head on -
Head to head -
Home countries or
Hug the post -
Icy pitch -
In play -
meantime or Meanwhile
phrase/term typically used by many English football writers and editors to
introduce a matter entirely unrelated to what has gone before in the story
(other than than that it concerns football in some way) and not even
hinted at in the story's headline, which never indicates that the story
contains a news round-up. This technique thereby guarantees that readers not
interested in the topic of the headline will not read the matter that
follows "in the meantime" or "meanwhile," whether or not they
are interested in it. Thus, for
example, after a headline and story about Colchester United's new signing, one
who is sufficiently interested in Colchester's new signing to read that far
will find something like, "In the meantime, the Football Association announced that
England will play Brazil in May." The upshot is that Colchester
United fans are well-informed about the new England fixture, but England
fans not interested in Colchester United remain ignorant. Once serious
football fans become aware of this technique, however, they make it their
practice to read every word of every football story. Much of
their time is wasted, but, hey, it's good for the game, which gets
promoted at all levels.
Indirect free kick
Injury time -
Inside left -
Inside right -
Intercontinental Club Cup
Association Board [IFAB] -
Internet news groups
Into touch -
Jab kick -
Kick and run -
Kick and rush -
Kickoff time -
Knockout phase or stage
Late tackle -
Laws of the Game
Lay off -
League Cup -
League play -
Left wing[er] -
Lion of Vienna
Lisbon Lions -
Live coverage -
Lofted kick -
Long ball -
Long ball game
Man of the match
Man short - The phrase used
when a team is lacking a man from the original 11 in the lineup
which started the match
by the referee
after all allowable substitutions
have been made. Before substitutions were first permitted, teams
sometimes were forced to play a man short, or even two, three or four
short, through injury. Hobbled players remained in the match if at
all possible, but were placed where they did not see much of the ball,
usually on the wing. If a team lost more than four men, the match
had to abandoned. In international football, two substitutes have been
allowed since 1970 and three since 1990 in tournament
play, and even more in friendly matches
by advance agreement of the teams. It is thus rare these days that a
team is forced to play a man short through injury. If a team plays a man
or more short, it is usually because of player expulsion.
Massive - An
adjective in massive vogue throughout the football community in England.
It apparently means "huge," as in, "We are a massive
club," and it is usually repeated a massive number of times, apparently
to ensure the listener is massively impressed. It rivals "at
the end of the day" as the most
overused term or phrase in English football.
Master class -
basic unit of the sport, the contest between two teams on the field of play,
usually 90 minutes in length unless extra-time is played to break a deadlock
in the score, as in some tournament and cup matches. Sometimes "game"
is used instead of "match," although it is more properly used to
refer to the entire sport of football. Our guess is that the term
"match" originated because two teams were matched against each
Match-fit - The
term used to describe a player's physical readiness for match play. A
player may be generally fit in the sense that he has recovered from an injury
and yet still not match-fit because he has not yet achieved the physical
condition required for the rigours of match play.
Match of the day
Measured ball or pass
Metodo system -
Mitropa Cup -
Movement off the ball
Narrow the angle
National side or team
Near corner -
Near post -
Near side -
Neutral venue -
Not fit -
Off the ball -
Offside law -
Offside trap -
Olympic Games -
On the ball -
On the day
- A phrase used by those associated
with the team that has lost a match to imply that things might well go
differently on another day, as in, "They [the winning team] were the stronger
team on the day."
Onion bag -
Out of form
Out of play -
Outfield players -
Outside left -
Outside right -
Overhead kick -
Own goal -
Shortened form of 'penalty'
 The term most commonly used in the U.K. until the 1980s and 1990s to
designate the gathering of players, including reserve players,
from which the team or side
which actually plays in a match is selected, as
in, "Tommy Lawton was one of the 16 players chosen for the England party
which will embark on a Continental tour featuring matches against Italy,
Jugoslavia and Roumania." Nowadays it is more common to refer to
this assemblage of players as the squad.
 The entire entourage accompanying the team to a match, including the
coaching staff, team officials and, in the case of an England game, certain
Football Association officers and employees, as in, "The England World
Cup party, led by manager Walter Winterbottom, arrived
in Brazil hailed as 'the Kings of Football.'"
Pass and run -
Pass back -
Passing game -
Shortened form of 'penalty'
Penalty arc -
Penalty area -
Penalty kick -
Penalty spot -
Pivot kick -
Place kick -
Play in -
Play on -
Play the man -
Play the ball -
Player of the Year
Points system -
by which teams engaged in league play or tournament group play are ranked in
the competition. Throughout most of the modern history of the game, two
points were awarded for a win, one point for a draw or tie and no points for a
loss. Recently, in an effort to encourage attacking football, the number
of points for a win has been lifted to three.
Pools panel -
Press  - England's
national broadsheets, which are the full-sized daily and Sunday newspapers,
are normally relatively traditional and restrained in their news coverage, as
opposed to the tabloid press. These broadsheets--the Times and Sunday
Times, the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, the Guardian (Monday to
Saturday), the Observer (Sunday) and the Independent and Independent on
Sunday--have highly-talented football journalists whose
stories are often both intelligently and gracefully written. The national
daily and Sunday tabloids--the Express, the Sunday Express, the Daily Mirror,
the Sunday Mirror, the Daily Mail, the Sun (Monday through Saturday), the Star
(Monday through Saturday), the People (Sunday) and the News
of the World (Sunday)--offer sensationalist news coverage, often outrageous in both
content and tone, but they also have extremely capable football journalists,
and their football coverage is extensive, although the occasional story,
usually produced under the pressures of fierce tabloid competition, turns out
to be unreliable. All these newspapers have websites, although the
online football offerings from the Express newspapers, the Daily Mail and the News of
the World are slender. Many local or provincial
newspapers --for example, the London Evening Standard and the Manchester
Evening News--also have extensive and often superb football
Press  -
- A nickname for
England winger Tom Finney, coined because of his background in the plumbing
Protect the ball
Purple patch -
Push and run -
Qualifying or qualification
Red card -
- A pass
made by a player in a direction opposite to the way in which he is
moving. Thus a player moving from the wing towards the goal,
dragging one or more defending
players with him, may play a reverse pass back to a player who has moved into
the space he thereby created.
-  The general term for a win, loss
 The final score
of a match,
as in "The result was 2-1 for England."  In
England, the term is often used colloquially to mean a win or a draw, as in,
"We need to get a result on Saturday."
Round of 16 teams
Round robin play
Running off the ball
Safe hands -
Scissors kick -
Second half -
- 1. The act of choosing the players who will form the team,
either a national
or club side,
that plays a match.
The selection is usually performed by the manager, coach or technical
trainer. 2. In international football, the act of choosing the
players who will form the larger squad
from which the team or side that will play a match or matches is drawn.
3. The team, side or squad so chosen.
Self goal -
Selling the dummy -
The pretence, accomplished by body movement, even if only a glance of
the eyes or perhaps a simple feint of the arms or legs, through which a player
deceives the opposition into believing the ball is going to one player when in
fact it is going to another. The classic example occurs when a
player tricks his opponent into believing that he is going to receive the ball
when in fact he lets it go through or by him to a team-mate. He has sold
the dummy, which is himself. A player may also sell the dummy by
deceiving the opposition into believing he is going to give the ball to one
team-mate when in fact he sends it to another or keeps it himself,
perhaps for a shot on goal, the dummy in those cases being a team-mate
rather than himself. He has also sold the dummy if he deceives the
opposition into believing he is going to collect the ball himself but lets it
go through or by him directly into the goal.
Semi-finals - The
stage of a tournament
in which four teams remain in the competition,
Team A playing Team B and Team C playing Team D in two separate matches for a
place in the final match.
Sending off -
of a player from the field of play for egregious foul play
or other serious infraction of the Laws
of the Game or (since 1970 in international
play) for two cautions
for foul play or other infractions in the same match.
The terms "sent off" and "sending off" originated in
British football and are still used there. But, also since 1970 in
international football, the referee has shown a player about to be expelled a red
card, and it is common to say a player
has drawn or been shown a red card or that he has been red-carded.
Senior team -
Serie A -
Set piece or
play - any play
made from a dead-ball situation, such as a free kick, a corner kick, a penalty
kick, a goal kicks or a throw-in.
Setanta Sports -
Shelter the ball
Shield the ball
Shin guards -
Shin splints -
Shirt names -
Shirt numbers -
Shots off target
Shots on target
Show the ball -
Shut down -
Silky skills -
Sitter - A
ball so situated that only the slightest and simplest of efforts from an
attacking player is needed to put it into the net for a goal, a ball just
sitting there waiting to be put into the net, as in, "Jimmy Greaves
missed a sitter when he lost his footing, enabling the late arriving fullback
to clear the ball" or "Nat Lofthouse missed a sitter when his header
from Stanley Mathews' inch-perfect cross struck the cross-bar of a wide open
Sixth forward -
Sky Sports -
Snap shot -
Short for "association football,"
the official name of the game, this term is much frowned upon by most of the
English football community, including the media, apparently solely because it is the name by which
the game is known in the U.S.A. to distinguish it from gridiron
football. "Soccer" was
actually coined by students at Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the
1880's, and it was common usage,
alongside "rugger," the nickname for rugby football, throughout England until at least
the 1970's. Youngsters may be excused their ignorance of the term's
pedigree, but today's English football writers know better yet present a
blinkered view, perhaps from fear of losing readers if they use the dreaded
"s" word. One only has to look at older football book
titles to see the truth--Tommy Lawton's My Twenty Years in Soccer
(1955), for example. Tommy was hardly under American influence, although
he did meet legendary baseball player Babe Ruth once and talked player wages
with him; there was very little soccer in the U.S.A. at the time. Those who vehemently protest
the use of "soccer" have thus allowed an absurd fear of the influence
of the U.S.A. to co-opt a venerable English nickname for England's most loved sport.
We, too, much prefer football because it is more descriptive of the game
played primarily with the feet and because it is its official name
(or part of it, per "association football"), but the use
of "soccer" should be no big deal--and isn't, except to those
who blow up every time they see or hear "soccer" used. Our
own dislike is for "footie," which sounds to us like a game played by pansies or beanie babies. If a nickname is
wanted, we prefer "footer," a term widely used in the
England of the 1940's and 1950's.
South American Championship
Split the defence
Square ball -
Stoppage time -
Sudden death goal
Summer tours -
Sunday shot -
Super Cup -
Super Eagles -
Swiss bolt system
Swivel kick -
TFC - The
Football Confederation. The name the North American and Caribbean
confederation adopted to replace "CONCACAF."
It does not seem to have caught on; the confederation is still commonly
referred to as CONCACAF.
Table - The
term used in the U.K. for the ranking of the teams engaged in league or
tournament group play according to the number of points they have earned, the team having the
highest number of points being placed at the top of the table and the team
with the lowest number at the bottom. In other parts of the world, this
table is referred to as the standings or the classification. Teams
sharing the same number of points may be separated by their goal
difference or goals
for or number of wins, according to the
rules of the particular competition in which they are engaged.
Tackle - The
act of engaging an opposing player in possession of the ball in an effort to
take it away from him or at least to force him to lose possession.
Tackling at its best is an art,, but it is fast disappearing in the wake of
revisions of the Laws of the Game and their interpretation allowing the
referee to call a foul whenever the slightest physical contact is made with
the player in possession of the ball.
Tackle from behind
Tackling back -
Tap - A
gentle nudge of the ball with the foot, as in "Stanley Matthews did all
the work for the goal, evading half a dozen defenders with his patented body
swerve and acceleration before passing to the far post, where Stan Mortensen
merely had to tap the ball into an empty net."
Target man - A
term of comparatively recent origin, and apparently only used in the U.K.,
referring to a ball-holding forward,
usually a central striker.
Such a player is good at receiving a long ball, holding it, often with his
back to the goal, until his team-mates arrive, and laying it off to one of them
or using them as dummies and having a go at goal himself. Hence he is
the target man to whom the ball is played from the back.
Taxi cab driver - An
occupation fraught with a peculiar hazard since those who peruse it are
frequently the target of abuse, physical and verbal, from U.K. footballers who
have enjoyed a long night out.
Technical advisor or
Technical trainer - The
designation used in much of the world, particularly Continental Europe and
Latin America, for the team coach--the person in charge of the playing side of
team operations. In the U.K., however, "trainer" generally has
been reserved for personnel who look after the players' physical fitness.
Ten men -
There's only one
[fill in blank] -
Third back -
Third division north
Third division south
Three lions -
Through ball -
Time added on -
Total football system
Toyota Cup -
Transfer fee -
UEFA Cup -
Use the ball -
Verrou sytem -
Video replay -
W-M formation -
Wall pass -
Wasted ball -
Water-logged pitch -
Weighted ball -
Winter break -
Wizard of the Dribble
Work rate -
World Club Championship
World Cup -
World Soccer -
Yellow card -
Zonal marking -