2022 World Cup Language Podcast: Last 16 – Panenka (Morocco v Spain)

Today’s World Cup language podcast looks at the phrase, ‘Panenka‘ which was used when describing Morocco’s penalty shoot-out win against Spain in the last-16 match at the 2022 World Cup. You can read the transcript for this podcast below, while you can also check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at admin@languagecaster.com.

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2022 World Cup Language Podcast: Last 16 – Panenka (Morocco v Spain)

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DF: Hello again everyone and welcome to Languagecaster.com – the football-language podcast for learners and teachers of English. This is Damian and I’m here in London while of course Damon, the other member of the Languagecaster team, is in Japan. We continue with our look at some language from the last-16 knock-out matches and on today’s World Cup language podcast we explain a very famous phrase, ‘Panenka‘ which was used in a BBC report that described Morocco’s amazing victory over Spain on penalties.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (from a French fan)

Star player Hakimi stepped up and was the coolest man under the most intense pressure, dinking his penalty – a ‘Panenka’ – straight down the middle as Morocco surged into the quarters. (BBC.co.uk, December 6 2022)
This is how the BBC reported on the shock Moroccan victory against Spain that sent the north African side through to the last eight for the first time in its history and only the fourth African team to reach the quarter finals. Amazing. After 120 goal-less minutes, the game had to be decided on a penalty shoot out and when Spain missed their first three penalties, it meant that if defender Achraf Hakimi scored then Spain would be eliminated and Morocco would qualify. The pressure was intense but the PSG player decided to not hit the ball to the left or to the right but instead calmly and carefully chipped or dinked the ball down the centre of the goal. The Spanish keeper had dived to the right meaning that the ball went in. This kind of penalty is known as a Panenka after Antonín Panenka from Czechoslovakia who scored a penalty like this in the 1980 European Championship final win against West Germany. Taking a penalty like this, especially in such tense circumstances, demonstrates how cool and calm Hakimi was. It was an amazing end to a wonderfully surprising game. Well done Morocco!

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (from a Spanish fan)


Now, if you want to ask us any football-language questions or simply say hello during this World Cup, then you can do so by adding a comment on our site here or by using our forum. You can also send us an email at admin@languagecaster.com and you can also look out for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and thanks to everyone who’s been in contact with us over the tournament.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (from an Irish fan).


DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was from an Irish supporter. It would be great to hear from more people who might like to share the message, ‘you are listening to Languagecaster.com‘. Don’t forget there’s a transcript for this very short podcast and there’s lots of vocabulary support which you can access by coming along to our site.

OK, that’s it for this very short podcast in which we looked at the phrase ‘Panenka‘, when talking about Morocco’s winning penalty in the shoot out against Spain. We’ll be back with more World Cup language very soon. Enjoy all the football and we’ll see you then. Bye bye!

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