Common Football Phrases
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15 Common Football Phrases Every Soccer Fan Should Know

Football attracts countless new enthusiasts to the stadium. The game has a language of its own. Have a peek and learn about a few common phrases soccer fans use. Football has gained a cult following worldwide, having an estimated 3.5 billion fans following the sport and the association. Sports fans have constructed phrases, slang terms, and idioms along the line to create their language.

Most people can confuse phrases, but they are a second language to many diehard fans. Most of the terms have logical explanations, and originYou’ll often see this clearly when you stream the Champions League or any other major soccer tournament. If you are new to the game, an old fan, or just curious about the arsenal of phrases, here are 15 common football phrases every soccer fan should know. Get your team’s jersey on you and start reading through this article.


Soccer has been commonly regarded as ‘The Beautiful Game’ by fans. If a team exhibits violence, defensive behavior, and an overall distrustful appearance when playing a game, it is regarded as anti-football. The term was first used in the 1968 COPA Intercontinental Cup finals between Argentine and Manchester United.

Example: “Argentine club played anti-football in 1968 COPA”

Behind Closed doors

The term is usually used to describe matches with no spectators in the stadium. This type of match became common during the pandemic to reduce health risks as people are streaming soccer on TV. Example: “Following the health regulations and instructions of UEFA, future matches will be behind closed doors”

CR7Common Football Phrases

Cristiano Ronaldo is nicknamed CR7 in combination with the initials of his name and his iconic number 7 jersey. The athlete went forward to make the name a famous brand across the world. Example: “CR7 showed excellent performance in the last tournament.”

False Nine

The term is typically used for the players who portray the striker but act as a decoy for the actual striker. The role of a false nine is not as active as a regular striker. The primary purpose of a False Nine is to break the opponent’s defense by drawing the players out.


The Spanish term is used for talented players, renowned worldwide, and quite heavy on the bank when transferring to Real Madrid. The phrase first came to action back in 2000 when Florentino Pérez, president of Real Madrid, started to buy at least one galactic player every year.


This term abbreviates to ’Greatest Of All Time,’ and it speaks for itself. The abbreviation came to action in recent times. It’s mostly associated with sportsmen but is more frequently used in football.

Example: “Lionel Messi is the GOAT.”

Group of DeathCommon Football Phrases

A group of death is referred to as tournaments that consist of powerful teams. They are known as the elites in the game. Example: “In the World Cup 2018, Group E, F, and D were regarded as the groups of death.”

Hand of God

The popular term refers to a 1986 hand goal performed by Diego Maradona against England. Although the goal was illegal, it was awarded to Argentina. Despite all the protests, the decision stayed unchanged.


The word denotes an ‘embarrassing mistake made under little pressure.’ The term is most associated with goalkeepers in a football game as circumstances are usually unpredictable for them. However, it can happen to any player in the match.

Injury Time

The official football game time is 90 minutes per match. At the end of each game, the referee can add more time to the 90-minute mark to cover for injury, player change, and stoppage time. This added time is known as injury time.

Lost the Dressing Room

The phrase is connected to the manager and refers to their inability to influence the player. If a manager is not well connected to the team, then the team might lose confidence in the decision and judgment of the manager. The scenario is referred to as ‘Lost the dressing room.’


When a match has its outcome fixed by players or criminal influencers to gain monetary benefits, that action is known as match-fixing. The ugly activity operates from behind a veil and destroys the authenticity of a game. The term is used in cricket as well.

Professional Foul

It’s an illegal pre-determined tactic that a player does to stop the opponent from scoring a goal. The act of foul gets awarded with a yellow card. The notion planned foul is a professional foul.

Fifty-fifty (50/50)

When two players target a free-roaming ball with force to gain control of the ball, it’s known as fifty-fifty. Players tackle and dash to acquire a 50-50 chance of winning the ball.


During a match of football, there are ample chances to commit fouls. Intentionally diving towards a ball when the opponent player is tackling to deceive the referee into giving a foul is known as a dive. You’ll often see this clearly when you stream Champions League or any other major soccer tournament.

Bottom Line

The game of football is competitive by nature. The competition often flows to the fans because of its intensity. Whether you are an old fan or a new one around the block, getting familiar with the most common phrases used by soccer fans is a must to keep in line with the growing fandom.

Article by

Alla Levin

Seattle business and lifestyle content creator who can’t get enough of business innovations, arts, not ordinary people and adventures.

About Author

Alla Levin

Hi, I’m Alla, a Seattle business and lifestyle content creator who can’t get enough of business innovations, arts, not ordinary people and adventures. My mission is to help you grow in your creativity, travel the world, and live life to the absolute fullest!


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