Football Language Podcast: 2017 Confederation Cup Final

2017 Confederation Cup FinalThe Confederation Cup final in Saint Petersburg, Russia took place this weekend between Germany and Chile and this week’s show looks at that game between the South American and World champions. We’ll also be explaining some football words and phrases, asking a quiz question and of course talking about our predictions for the big game. There is also a transcript for those who wish to practise their reading and listening skills (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).

Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2017 Confederation Cup Final

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Transcript of the show

DF: You’re listening to Languagecaster’s football-language podcast. Hello everyone and welcome to the podcast for all those who love the beautiful game and want to improve their English skills. My name’s Damian and I’m here in London where the weather is warm and sunny, very warm indeed. Hello Damon, how are things in Tokyo?

DB:Very hot, Damian. I’m sitting outside, actually, at my workplace, so apologies for any noise, and it is baking!

DF: Wow! Now Damon, last week we talked a little bit about the World Cup warm-up competition that is the Confederations Cup, which took place in Russia and of course the final was on last weekend.

DB: Yes, well done to Germany on winning that title and we’ll be talking more about that game later on in the show. What else do we have on this week’s podcast?

Line up

DF: Well, we will start with a review of the football stories from the week in the good, the bad and the ugly. Then we will have a quiz question connected to the Confederations Cup followed by some of our listeners’ posts and questions. We then explain a couple of football-language phrases from the week and then look look back at that Confederations Cup final between Chile and Germany.

DB: Yes, you are listening to and that was in German. Right, what was good from the world of football this week?


DF: Congratulations to Germany on winning the European U-21 Championship in Poland after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over favourites Spain, that was last Friday. Mitchell Weiser scored the winner for the Germans who won their second European U-21 title with a team that had lost many of its stars to the Confederations Cup squad. And talking of the Confederations Cup the Germans also won that title after defeating Chile 1-0 in St Petersburg. German football is in very good shape. Damon, what was bad in the football world this week?


DB: Penalty shoot-outs have never been England’s strong point – the senior team has lost seven of them, winning only one, while the women’s team has also lost three times in major tournaments with no wins. The U-21 side has managed to win once on penalties but they were defeated last week by German opposition in the semi-finals to ensure more penalty heartbreak for England.

How about ugly?


DF: Well, it is the summer break here in Europe and the transfer window has now opened so we will be listening to a lot of football gossip about players moving for vast (or huge) sums of money. There will be accusations of tapping up players, of agents running the game and of a lack of loyalty from teams and players – all pretty ugly actually.

DB: Comment: Next up we have this week’s quiz question.

Quiz question

DF: OK, this week’s question is connected to the Confederations Cup and we want to know which country has won the most titles? We’ll have the answer at the end of the show.

Follow us

DF: OK, we’d just like to remind people to get in touch with us and spread the word if you like our show and our site. This week we had a comment from Belper Bren who commented on our post on the football word ‘byline‘. Belper Bren takes issue with the fact that the byline should in fact be called the goal line and says:

‘…I would like to refer to the lines running through the goal posts from each corner flag As GOAL LINES!! The Laws have never referred to them as bylines. Stop this nonsense please.’

Well, thanks for the comment Belper Bren and yes, we agree with you that those lines are indeed known as goal lines in the laws of the game but some part of these lines, the part outside the goal that runs towards the corner flag, is sometimes referred to as the byline – so we might hear the phrase ‘the winger crossed from the byline’.

DB: Interesting stuff. It is always great to hear from our listeners and you can of course email us directly at and you can follow us on all the usual places, that’s twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We also had a question from Sand4ra on twitter who asked about the football expression ‘bang on the door‘. Damian?

DF: Well, this phrase ‘banging on the door‘ means that a team were trying hard to score; that they were putting on lots of pressure – maybe they were creating chance after chance in the hope of scoring a goal. So, to bang on the door means to increase the pressure on your oponents. Thanks Sand4ra for the question and thanks to Amadeu who asked about the word ’embellishment’ in the phrase ‘Chiellini accused of embellishment’, Damon?

DB: Well, this would mean that Chiellini had ensured that the referee had seen the tackle on him – maybe not quite a dive but definitely exaggerated.

DF: Now, we also have a forum where you can ask us any football-language questions – we have just started a new thread on football in film. What is your favourite football film? Come along to the forum and join in the conversation. Damon, what’s your favourite football film?

DB: That’s a difficult one, isn’t it. Well there’s Escape to Victory, but there’s also Gregory’s Girl!  What about yours?

DF: Oh, I think it might have to be ‘Escape to Victory‘ which starred Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone as well as a whole host of famous football players. Brilliant!

DB: It would be good to hear from our listeners on films that feature football – come along to our forum and join in the discussion.

Right, next up we we are going to explain some football language that has emerged from the past week.

Football Language: Runners-up

DF: I am going to start with the expression ‘runners-up‘. The phrase ‘runners-up‘ refers to a team that has finished in second place in a competition. This may mean that a team has lost a final or has finished second in a league campaign. So, for example, in the 2014 World Cup Argentina were runners-up to Germany (having lost the final 1-0) while Tottenham finished runners-up to Chelsea in the 2016-17 Premier League season. Sometimes you will see the singular form ‘runner-up‘ and this is more often used when referring to individual sportsmen and women, for example, Colombian forward James Rodríguez won the Golden Boot award for being top scorer (he scored 6 goals) at the 2014 World Cup with Germany’s Tomas Müller finishing as runner-up after scoring five times in the tournament.  The eight best runners-up will qualify for a play-off in the European section of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

What else has caught your eye this week Damon?

Football Language: Down to 10 men

DB: I’m going to talk about the phrase ‘down to 10 men‘ which is used to describe a situation when a team loses one of its players. There are 11 players on a football team and if one of these players is sent off or injured then you might hear the phrase ‘down to ten men‘ being used. This might be for a short period of time if a player is injured and the team is waiting for the substitute to come on to the pitch or it might be longer and more permanent as a player has been sent off. In the recent Confederations Cup group match between Germany and Cameroon the African champions went down to ten men in the second half when one of their players was controversially sent off and they eventually lost the game 3-1. Another example, this time from the Croydon Examiner from January 28th 2017 mentioned that Crystal Palace boss Allardyce felt Manchester City should have been down to ten men in the second half. Down to ten men.

DF: Good stuff. Damon, how about in the women’s game?

DB: I think we would simply use ‘down to ten players’.

DF: Indeed and we have another new post on our forum that looks at phrases like this – ‘down to ten men’, ‘men against boys’ and ‘man in the middle‘ and wonder whether they will continue to be used or maybe adapted.

We have also had a question from Ahmed on this phrase – he asks whether we can say ‘a man short’ or ‘a player short’ with the same sense as down to ten. Yes, indeed you can – they have the same meaning. Thanks again Ahmed for the question – keep them coming listeners!

Right, next up let’s take a look back at the Confederations Cup final.

Prediction: The 2017 Confederation Cup Final

DB: Well, neither of these two sides had won the trophy before so there was always going to be a new name on the trophy – Damian, which of Germany or Chile did you think would win?

DF: I thought Germany would have too much for their South American champions and I was right.

DB: Yes, Chile had their chances but Germany – more or less the German B-side – easily held on to win their first Confedeartions Cup title to go along with the European U-21 title and of course they are world champions!

DF: Well done Germany.

Quiz Answer

DB: OK, let’s return to the quiz question we asked earlier – we wanted to know which country has won the most Confederation Cup titles and the answer is of course Brazil with four wins followed by France with two. Well done if you got that right and we’ll have another question for you in the next podcast.

Good bye

DF: Right. That’s it for this week’s podcast – drop us a line and let us know what you think of the show. And let us know if you are watching or playing any football over the summer – that of course is the summer in the northern hemisphere!

DB: Yep, enjoy all of the football, because there is football going on continuously around the world. Ta-ra!.

DF: See you soon. Bye bye.

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Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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