World Cup Language: Half-volley
Today’s football language expression is ‘half-volley’ which is one way of hitting the ball in football. A volley is when a player hits the ball in the air before it bounces so a player can volley the ball as a pass but more often as a shot, for example, he volleyed the ball into the net or she scored with a volley. A half-volley is seen as a more difficult skill as the player hits the ball just after the ball hits the ground meaning it is more difficult to have control over what you do with it. If a player gets a half-volley wrong he or she can sky the ball, that is hit the ball too high. If, however, the player gets the half-volley right then it is not only difficult to stop the shot as it is hit with power but it is also seen as something technically pleasing on the eye. In the World Cup Group C game between Denmark and Australia, the Danish number 10 Christian Eriksen scored the opening goal with a sweetly struck half-volley. He didn’t even break stride but lashed the ball home on the half-volley giving the Australian keeper no chance.
Example: ‘Eriksen smashed home a half-volley to give Denmark early lead’ (BeSoccer, June 21st 2018).
- Here is a nice article from the Guardian (Sep 2nd 2009) on the differences between volley and half-volley.
- A YouTube selection of the best ever half-volleys