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2016-17 Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2018 World Cup Qualifiers in Europe

It’s the fourth podcast of the season and this weekend sees domestic leagues in Europe taking a break as World Cup qualifiers start. We take a look at some language from the big games from the Premier League last week including a review of some of the words and phrases from the transfer window. We also look back at some of the good, the bad and the ugly from this week’s football and Damon and Damian discuss the ‘languagecaster derby’, while we also feature some of the big games from those World Cup qualifiers in our predictions battle – including England against Slovakia and Brazil versus Colombia. You can check out the transcript for the show in the post below (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).

2016-17 Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2018 World Cup Qualifiers in Europe

Transcript of the show

DF: You’re listening to languagecaster’s football podcast.

Hello everyone and welcome to the show for all football fans who wish to improve their English language skills. My name is Damian, and this is week 4 of the 2016-17 football season and today on our football language podcast we’ll be reviewing some of the football news from the week, introducing some football phrases and taking a look at some of the World Cup qualifying games coming up this weekend.

Now, I’m here in London where the weather is cooling down a little and I wonder what it is like in Tokyo, Japan where Damon is hopefully there at the end of the line. Damon, how are you doing?

DB: Hi there Damian. I wish I could say it was cooling down here in Tokyo, but we’re still in the low 30s or high 20s and it’s humid.

DF: Oh dear, sorry to hear about that! So you’re not too impressed with the weather in Japan, but, Damon, what did you make of the languagecaster derby from last weekend – that’s your team Liverpool against my team Tottenham?

DB: I was worried before the game wondering which Liverpool would turn up – the one that beat Arsenal or lost against Burnley the following week? But on the whole I was pleased, especially with the debut of Matip in defence. Coutinho should have buried his first chance though, and I feel slightly disappointed we didn’t bag all three points. How about you?

DF: Yep. I think you called that just about right. I think we were happy with a draw.

DB: OK, right, what do we have on the show?

Line up and Quiz

DF: Now, we’re going to start our show this week with our good, the bad and ugly section, with three news stories from the beautiful game this week. But before that, we have a quick question for our listeners: Now, there’ll be two new teams from Europe making their debuts in the World Cup qualifiers this weekend, can you name either one of them? We’ll have the answer at the end of the show.

Now, Damon, what was good this week in the world of football?


DB: Well, farewell to two huge names from the world of international football this week as former World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger and Irish captain, and former Liverpool and Tottenham player, Robbie Keane both retired. Now Schweinsteiger played 121 times for Germany scoring 24 times and of course he won the World Cup in 2014, while Keane retires with 68 goals from his 146 appearances – he’s now scored as many international goals as the German star Gerd Müller.

DF: Yes, and Damon I don’t know if you remember the World Cup in Japan but I was behind the goal when Robbie Keane scored the equaliser for Ireland against Germany in… in Ibaraki. What a great night that was.

DB: Brilliant. What about bad?


DF: Well, not a good start to the World Cup qualifying campaign for Japan as they lost 1-2 at home to the UAE (that’s the United Arab Emirates) after going 1-0 up. With Saudi Arabia and Australia also in the group and only the top two guaranteed to qualify for Russia 2018 the Samurai Blue – that’s the nickname for the Japanese men’s football team – cannot afford to slip up again. Their next match is away in Thailand on Tuesday. Damon, did you…did you manage to see the game?

DB: I did. I watched it up until 1-1 actually and Japan had quite a lot of the ball and seemed in control but… yes, they let it slip towards the end.

DF: It’s a big defeat. What about ugly?


DB: Well, Manchester City have started well under new manager Pep Guardiola but their top scorer Sergio Agüero faces a charge of violent conduct after he appeared to hit West Ham defender Winston Reid in the neck last weekend. Now, the Argentinian striker is contesting the charge – this is like an appeal – but if he is unsuccessful then he will receive a three-match ban and miss the Manchester derby next weekend.

DF: Hmm, that will be a big loss for City.

Football Language – Transfer Window

DF: Now, next up we focus on some of the football language from the week and since it was the end of the transfer window we thought we’d take a look at some of the phrases from our football glossary that are connected to the world of transfers.

DB: Yes, though 14 clubs in the Premier League broke their transfer record this summer – which means they paid more money than they’ve paid before for a player – some transfers do not cost a penny and these are known as free transfers. Mario Balotelli left Liverpool on a free transfer and will now ply his trade, which means to play, in France at Nice.

DF: Hey Damon, what was the most expensive signing of the window?

DB: I’m guessing it was Paul Pogba.

DF: Yes, Manchester United paid almost 90 million pounds for the French box-to-box midfielder – they sealed the deal (they signed the player) after a series of negotiations over the summer.

DB: Now, another phrase we heard quite a lot of during the window was to pledge your future and in particular when describing some of Leicester City’s stars. Yes, they lost N’Golo Kanté to Chelsea but Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez both pledged their futures to the club – they will be staying at Leicester this season.

Follow us

DF: Now remember, if you come along to you can find a massive collection of more football terms, phrases, expressions, vocabulary and football cliches in our language glossary – we think it is the biggest glossary in the world!

DB: Definitely!

DF: Now… definitely, yes. If you have more words and phrases you think we should add or want explaining then contact us at

DB: You can also follow us on Facebook – Learn English Through Football – or on twitter @languagecaster. Of course, thank you for all your follows, likes and re-tweets and a hello to Jassim and Zeynep Zeynep who are now following us on Facebook. Thanks a lot. Damian, we also have a new instagram account?

DF: Yes, you can now follow us on instagram and see what the languagecaster team get up to away from the podcast studio! I posted some photos of myself watching the Liverpool-Spurs game in Paris – thanks to Kohei for his comment on that image – and he was watching the same game in Australia!

DB: Brilliant.

DF: Yes, it might be nice to see where our listeners are watching football around the world so let us know via our instagram page. Now Damon, it’s time for this week’s predictions.


DF: Next up we have our predictions battle in which both of us will try and predict some of the big games taking place this weekend. Now, normally we focus on the Premier League but this weekend we’ll be looking at a couple of matches from the World Cup qualifiers. Now remember, it’s 3 points for a perfect score and one for the right result.

DB: Well, this week we have three games to talk about on the show and the first is Slovakia versus England. What do you think Damian?

DF: I have a feeling that new England manager ‘Big Sam’ will not be smiling at the end of this one – I’m going for a scoreless draw: 0-0. How about you?

DB: Well England have quite a good record in qualifiers, as opposed to the actual tournaments, so I’m going for a solid 1-0 away win.

DF: Now, our second game features Ireland who travel to Serbia for a tricky opening match – what do you think Damon?

DB: This will be tricky indeed, but I can see a stalemate – 0-0.

DF: I am not too confident about this one as Serbia have a point to prove after not qualifying for the Euros this summer in France. I’m hoping for an away point, a draw, but I have a bad feeling Ireland may well lose here – 2-1 to Serbia.

DB: OK. Well, our final game sees Brazil taking on Colombia on Tuesday. What’s your prediction?

DF: Well, although they are Olympic champions and have just beaten Ecuador in the qualifiers thanks to a brace from Gabriel Jesus, I’m not sure that the bad times are over for Brazil’s senior side and I think they’ll have to settle for a draw in this one – 1-1. You?

DB: I agree, but I’ll go 0-0.

DB: Now what do you think listener, what do you think will happen in this week’s qualifiers? Come along to our site at and let us know. Don’t forget our predictions competition will continue next week and the current leader is still Aung Kyaw, from Burma, followed by myself and then a couple of points behind us is Jose Levy and the Mighty Toft. Simply come along, sign in and play for free.

Quiz Answer

DF: Yes indeed. Now, earlier in the show we asked, which two sides will be making their debuts in the World Cup qualifiers this weekend. Damon?

DB: Well, I had to look this up. The answer is Gibraltar and Kosovo. Gibraltar host Greece in a group D game – albeit in Portugal as their home stadium is not big enough, while Kosovo travel to Finland in group I.

Good bye

DB: That’s all we have time for this week, so enjoy all of the football everybody and I hope your team does well. Don’t forget to drop us a line or ask a question.

DF: Yes, enjoy all the football and see you next week when we’ll be looking ahead to the Manchester derby which sees the top 2 facing off – and of course Jose Mourinho against Pep Guardiola. Bye bye!

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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1 comment
  • Croatia will meet Turkey in today’s game played at Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia. In their last meeting, Croatia won the match with 0:1. I wonder if F. Terim’s team prepared us with a surprise for today. Based on the past results of the two teams, I would expect for Croatia to perform well during this meeting and win this game. It should be interesting to see if Ivan Perisic will score during this match as he has a good average in terms of goals scored / match.

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