Introduction:

One of the few things in life that most people share a common interest in, is football. Whether you're waiting for a meeting to start, in a taxi or in the pub, it is very normal to have a conversation about football. So, it's important to know how to talk about football in English.

In this second of two online exercises on football, you will learn and remember more essential English vocabulary for football. In this part, you'll learn the names of the movements and things that a football player does with the ball when playing a game/match on the football pitch (the grass where they play).

If you haven't done the first part of this exercise, I recommend that you do this first part of the exercise before doing this second part (it will make it easier to do).

To learn the English vocabulary for talking about football competitions (like the World Cup, the European Cup etc...), do our online exercise on 'World Cup English football vocabulary'.


Exercise: An article about Maradona

Read the following English article on Maradona in the Quarter Finals of the 1986 World Cup.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Controversy has surrounded Maradona throughout the whole of his professional and personal life. The drugs, the weight, the women, the meetings with Castro etc… Even today, nearly 20 years after he stopped playing football he is still often in the newspapers. But there can be no doubt that he is one of the greatest footballers that the world has ever seen.

But putting aside all of the things that have taken place off the pitch, in England (and possibly many other countries) he is most remembered for one match. The quarter final of the 1986 world cup. A match which showed both sides of his character.

It was an important match for both teams, but more for Argentina, who had lost a war against the United Kingdom in the Falkland Islands four years previously. The English felt confident that they could defeat them on the football pitch like their soldiers had done in the war. They had seen Maradona in the previous matches where he had scored. One of his goals was a volley, he hit a cross from a team mate before the ball had touched the ground. But he not only scored goals, he also helped others to score. In a different game, Maradona back-heeled the ball to a team mate who then scored.

On the day of the game, the Azteca Stadium on the outskirts of Mexico City, seemed more like an oven than a football stadium. There was hostility between both groups of fans, but fortunately no violence. Although the match itself was exciting, it is only remembered for the two goals of Diego Maradona.

The first, showed one side of his character, the second, the other. For the first goal, Maradona made a run from his midfield position towards the England penalty area, whilst his team mates passed the ball towards the right wing. As he reached the penalty area, one of his team mates crossed the ball to him from the right. As the ball was in the air, the England goalkeeper, Peter Shilton came out from his goal to punch it away. But just before he reached it, Maradona jumped to head the ball, but the cross was too high. So he had to intentionally or unintentionally use his hand. The ball went in to the back of the net. Peter Shilton looked at the linesman and the referee, pointing to his hand, waiting for them to give a foul for handball. But the goal wasn't disallowed. Maradona had scored his first goal.

For the second, one of Maradona's team mates passed the ball to him in the Argentinian half of the pitch. He turned with the ball towards the England goal and started to run. He dribbled the ball past the England midfield and defence, avoiding tackle after tackle. He made them look like stone statues. Then it was one on one with the England goalkeeper again. Peter Shilton came out of his goal again, trying to make a save. Maradona moved to his right and hit it passed him. Goal! This time none of the English complained to the referee. They were stunned and embarrassed.

The England striker, Gary Lineker scored a goal after to make the match 2 -1. And towards the end of the match he missed a chance to make it 2 – 2.

Argentina went on to win the match 2 – 1. When asked about his first goal after the match, he said that it was 'the hand of god'. Argentina went on to win the world cup. But it was this match which had turned Maradona in the eyes of the world from being an excellent football player in to a legend.



Quiz: English vocabulary for football part 2

Below is a definition/description of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now fill in the blanks with one of these words in bold. Only use one word/phrase once and write it as it is in the text. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. When you try take the ball away from a player on the opposite team, it is a    

         

Tackle:
(noun) It means to challenge for the ball. It is also a verb 'to tackle'. In Spanish: "entrada".

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Tackle:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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2. When you kick the ball to another player on your team, is    

         

Passed:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to pass'. Also used as a noun, where you can use the adjectives 'short' or 'long'. In Spanish: "hacer un pase".

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Passed:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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3. When you try to score but don't, is    

         

Missed:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to miss'. It is also used as a noun. In Spanish: "fallar".

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Missed:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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4. When you kick the ball before it has touched the ground, is a    

         

Volley:
(noun) It is used when you kick the ball before it has had a chance to touch/bounce on the ground. If it touchs the ground once before you kick it, it is a half volley. It is also used as a verb 'to volley'. In Spanish: "volea".

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Volley:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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5. Another way to say kick the ball, is    

         

Hit:
(noun) Although kick is common, 'to hit' is also used. When talking about trying to score, it is more common to use 'to shoot', rather than kick or hit. It is also a verb 'to hit'. In Spanish: "dar una patada".

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Hit:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6. When you go past other players while controlling the ball with style/skill, is    

         

Dribbled:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to dribble'. Be careful with this word, to dribble also means to have saliva come out of your mouth. In Spanish: "regatear".

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Dribbled:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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7. When you pass the ball to another player and it goes high in the air, is    

         

Crossed:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to cross'. It is a type of pass where the ball goes high in the air to the middle/centre of the pitch from the sides/wings. It is also a noun. In Spanish: "cruzar".

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Crossed:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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8. When a goalkeeper stops someone from scoring a goal, is    

         

Save:
(noun) Only a goalkeeper can 'save'. If another player (e.g. a denfender) stops a ball from going into the net for a goal, he 'blocks'. It is also used as a verb 'to save'. In Spanish: "parada".

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Save:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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9. When someone uses their head to pass or score a goal, is    

         

To head:
(verb) The noun is 'a header'. In Spanish: "cabecear al balón".

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To head:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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10. When somebody makes a goal, is    

         

Scored:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to score'. The noun, is 'score'. The noun is used to say how many goals have been scored in a match , e.g. 'What's the score?' 'it's 3 - 1 with 15 minutes to go'. In Spanish: "marcar".

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Scored:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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11. When you hit the ball with the back of your foot, is    

         

Back-heeled:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to back-heel'. Your heel is the bottom part at the back of your foot. It is also a noun. In Spanish: "talonazo".

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Back-heeled:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Practice

Now that you understand the football vocabulary, practice them by creating your own sentences in English with the new words/phrases.

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