Football Cliche: Something out of nothingIn this football language post we explain the cliche: ‘Something out of nothing‘ which is used to describe something unexpected in football. Don’t forget we have hundreds more explanations of football language in our football glossary and we also have a page full of football cliches. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at:

Football Cliche: Something out of nothing

If a player creates something out of nothing it means that they have done something unexpected in the game. For example, if a defence is well marshalled and organised and the attacking side is unable to break them down a player might create a chance by doing something that no one else is expecting them to do – dribble, chip, curl, or maybe shoot from distance. The word ‘conjure‘, which means to do some magic, is often used with this cliche – the player conjured something out of nothing which gives the impression that magic has happened! Another verb that collocates with this phrase is create – create something out of nothing.

Example: “He is the sort of player who can create something out of nothing…”  Everton manager Martinez speaking about Delafeu (Guardian online, August 2013).

Example: “But when you’ve got someone like Dele Alli in your team, or Christian Eriksen, they can create something out of nothing and it paid off for us in the end.” Ben Davies talking about his Tottenham team mates after victory over Swansea. (BBC April 2017).

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here. If you have any suggestions or questions, contact us at
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Free football language podcast for learners of English brought to you by Damian and Damon. Interviews, match reviews, predictions all with full language support for football fans around the world who wish to improve their English language skills.

Welcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Soccer fans can enhance these skills with lots of free language resources: a weekly podcast, football phrases, explanations of football vocabulary, football cliches, worksheets, quizzes and much more at

Google | Facebook | Twitter | Mail | Website

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Football ClichesEpisode 190