Football Language: To turn on a sixpence

This cliche is used to describe a move when a player wants to escape from another player. because he or she turns very quickly from a small space to move away from his or her marker. A sixpence was an old coin used in Britain more than 40 years ago – it was silver in colour and very small. Players who turn on a sixpence tend to have good technique and ‘quick feet’, that is, they move the ball quickly, while they also tend to have a low centre of gravity. Think of players like Messi, Maradona and Xavi – these players can easily turn on a sixpence.

Turn on a sixpence
  • Example:  The striker turned on a sixpence and left the defender for dead.

You can listen to one of our guests (Marie) talk about this cliche in this podcast from 2017.

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Football ClichesEpisode 703