During the Euro 2012 tournament the languagecaster team will be looking at some of the words and phrases that emerge from the competition. Today we explain the phrase ‘to play down‘. You can understand more about the word or phrase by listening to the mp3 and reading the transcript below. You can also find many more examples by going to our football cliches here and our huge football glossary here.

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Listen here: To play down.mp3

Today’s Euro 2012 football phrase is ‘to play down‘ which means to take the importance out of something. In football this phrasal verb often collocates with the words ‘hopes’ or ‘chances’ especially when a player or manager thinks that these hopes or chances are not so strong. For instance, Italian manager Cesare Prandelli is playing down his team’s chances of winning the Euro title. The phrase can also be used when trying to ease tension from a situation. Recently, there have been stories of tension among the Spanish players as they prepare for the tournament though defender Arbeloa has played down these tensions by suggesting that the players are focused on retaining the title; he has played down reports of tension in the camp. To play down.

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Euro 2012Episode 166