This post explains To bully an opponentthe football term ‘to bully an opponent’.

  • Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below.
  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

To bully an opponent

When someone bullies someone else it means that they treat others – usually smaller or weaker – in a bad way. The phrase in football does not have such a negative meaning and is used when one player physically dominates another in a match, so for example, a forward easily pushes aside the defender when challenging for a ball. You might sometimes hear people say that a player ‘bullied the defence’ which means that he or she was much stronger than the defence.

Example: ‘Employing the muscular Italian Stefano Okaka to bully the visitors’ centre backs…’ (Jim White in the Telegraph online, 13th August, 2017).

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