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Euro 2024: Football Language Phrase – Day 2: Lay Down a Marker

Euro24Today’s Euro 2024 phrase is ‘Lay Down a Marker‘ which was used to describe the match between Spain and Croatia. Learn what this phrase means by reading the post below. 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

Lay Down a Marker

Day two saw three matches, Spain v Croatia, Hungary taking on Switzerland, and Italy against Albania. We focus on the first of these games and use the phrase lay down a marker to describe Spain’s victory.

Spain beat Croatia comfortably 3-0, which was an impressive win. Croatia are not a weak team, so to beat them by three goals was a significant result. In a tournament, there are always several favourites, teams that most people think have a good chance of winning the whole competition. Most people would say that Spain, England, Germany, and France are probably favourites.

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The phrase ‘to lay down a marker‘ is used after an important victory to mean the winning team has made a statement. It means that the result shows they can go on and make a challenge for the title or go on and win a competition. It’s still early in the competition, but Spain’s 3-0 victory over Croatia makes pundits believe they are the real deal, they are strong favourites. The 3-0 win laid down a marker and told all the teams in the competition that Spain are contenders to win the whole tournament. To lay down a marker

  • Example: ‘Silky Spain put down a marker

Here, ‘put down’, is used instead of ‘lay down’, but the meaning is the same. Silky describes Spain’s play as smooth, attractive, and skilful.

  • Example: ‘Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz and Dani Carvajal got the goals as Spain laid down an early tournament marker in Berlin.’ The Guardian

In this example, ‘early’ is added, to emphasise that this is only the start of the tournament.

Related Vocabulary from the Glossary

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Learn English Through Football

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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