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Each week the languagecaster team will explain a football phrase or cliche for learners of English who love the sport. This week we explain the phrase ‘one foot in’. Click on the link below to hear the word or phrase, while you can also read the transcript below that. You can also find many more examples by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

Listen here – Have one foot in.mp3

This week’s English for football is the expression to have one foot in. It is used to talk about competitions and tournaments and is combined usually with the word ‘finals‘ (for example the World Cup finals, the European Championship finals). It probably comes from the phrase ‘to have one foot in the grave‘, which means to be very old or very sick and near to death – obviously if both feet are in the grave your whole body is there and you are dead! In football, to have one foot in the finals means to be close to qualifying, to be nearly in the finals. The team just needs a few more points to be guaranteed a place in the competition. So, this week in Europe many teams have been playing important group stage games to qualify for the European Championship finals. England have won both games they played and their star forward, Wayne Rooney, said in the press that England have one foot in the finals – he thinks England have nearly booked their place to the European Championships.

To have one foot in

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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