In this football language post we explain the term ‘host‘ which can be used as a verb ‘to host‘ and also as a noun ‘the hosts‘, while it also has a meaning of having a lot of something. You can read the transcript for this podcast below, while 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

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To host

When a team plays at home we say that this team hosts the game: One team hosts another team. We can also use the word ‘host‘ as a noun to describe the team playing at home, for example, the hosts attacked from the start of the game.


We can also sometimes see the phrase, ‘co-host‘ which means that more one team (or country) is organising the tournament or game. So, for example, in 2002 Japan and South Korea co-hosted the World Cup, while in 2023 the Women’s World Cup was co-hosted by both Australia and New Zealand.

A host of players = a lot

There is another meaning of host that can sometimes be heard in football and it means a lot of something. So, for example a host of chances means that a team had a lot of chances to score. He has played for a host of clubs means that the player has played for many different clubs in their career.

  • Example: The hosts outplayed the away team throughout the game.
  • Example: Tottenham host Sunderland in this weekend’s fixtures.
  • Example: The Hammers have a difficult game against Leicester at London Stadium on Saturday before they host Bournemouth on New Year’s Day ( 2019).
  • Example: ‘…though they will be left to rue a host of early missed chances’ (, 2020)
  • Example: Mourinho’s standing as one of the world’s leading managers, having delivered trophies at a host of top clubs, has been built on the defensive organisation and stability of his teams.



Football Language Glossary

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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