English for Football Phrase: Week 42 – To play down

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Each week we explain a soccer phrase or cliché on our weekly languagecaster podcast. You can find many more examples by going to our football phrase page here and football clichés here.

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This week we look at the phrase to play down. This phrasal verb combining the verb ‘play‘ and the preposition ‘down‘ is combined when you want to say something is not as important as it appears. Usually, the object follows the phrasal verb, as in – Cesc Fabregas played down rumours that he will leave Arsenal for Barcelona. Or, Fernando Torres has played down reports that he is not going to sign a new contract for Liverpool. The two players want people to believe gossip and stories about them are not accurate. As we can see, to play down in football is often combined with the words reports and rumours.

To play down.

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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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Football phrase 2010Episode 29