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In this football language post we explain the football expression ‘pick the ball out of the net’ which is used to describe a goal being scored in a game – the keeper has been beaten and now has to collect the ball from the back of the net. 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: admin@languagecaster.com.

Football Expression: Pick the ball out of the net

The phrase ‘to pick the ball out of the net‘ is usually used to describe the moments just after a goal has been scored when a goalkeeper (or a defender) has to go into the net and collect (or pick up) the ball for the re-start. If we read in match reports that a keeper had to pick the ball out of their net it means that they have conceded a goal. Since the main job for the keeper is to stop the ball from going in, the idea of having to pick the ball out of the net is a painful one.

This expression can also suggest that the keeper has been well beaten and that the goal was an emphatic one – maybe a thunderbolt or a screamer – and sometimes we can hear the expression: ‘Pick that (one) out of the net‘ which is telling the keeper to not even try and stop the shot but simply go and collect the ball from the net. Pick that one out!

  • Example: Marc-Andre ter Stegen picks the ball out of his own net as Liverpool celebrate (ABC.net, May 8 2019).

Related Phrases

Attribution Harry Pot / Anefo / CC0

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