- Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below.
- You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.
2018 World Cup Language: Switch sides
Football teams give players positions, such as forward, midfielder, defender and so on. And these players have certain roles they are meant to fulfill, or ‘do’. For example, a forward, or striker, should play ‘up top’ or in the final third. A left back should defend the left flank, or side, of the pitch, as well as bombing on to join the attack on the left side of the pitch. The phrase switch sides describes the action of passing the ball from one side of the pitch to the other: switch means to exchange, replace. So, if a player has the ball on the right and sees a player free on the far right hand side, they may want to switch sides, or switch the play, passing to the player on the opposite side of the pitch.
Example: The Uruguay v Portugal last 16 game saw a brilliant example of switching sides as Uruguay’s Cavani had the ball on the right flank, saw Suarez free on the left and crossed the ball, switched sides, to his team-mate on the left. Suarez then returned the ball with a cross that also switched sides, this time to the right, and Cavani scored.
- A report from our archives on football tactics (complete with transcript)