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Football Language Podcast: April 2020

April 2020English Through Football Podcast – April 2020: This week on the football-language podcast we discuss some of the words and phrases from the week and of course we continue with our look back at some of the big moments from football’s history in our series of World Cup matches.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the file below – you can also subscribe and listen to all our football-language podcasts – there are hundreds! There is also a transcript to the show (below) and with this transcript you can improve your English by reading as you listen, or if you are a teacher of English you can use the transcript to make several listening and/or reading activities for your learners. If you have questions or comments, email us at: (Damian=DF Damon=DB).

Learn English Through Football Podcast: April 2020


Football Language Podcast: April 2020
Recording the podcast

DF: Hello everybody, my name is Damian and you are listening to the Learn English Through Football Podcast.

We hope that you are all well and safe wherever you are listening to us in these difficult times. I am here in London where the sun is shining so at least we can sit out in the garden for a little bit. Now, as regular listeners to the podcast will know the other member of the languagecaster team is Damon, who is based in Tokyo. Damon, how are you doing? It’s been a long time since we did a podcast together.

DB: Yes it has been a long time. I am well, although of course things are very different to normal life here in Japan too. Like you, I have been outside, not in the garden, but on my balcony. We’ve had some typical spring weather here in Tokyo – sometimes beautiful sun, sometimes rain, and often windy! How are you coping without football?

DF: Well, it is certainly strange – it is almost 6 weeks now since the Premier League last played and I was reading yesterday that the FA Cup semi-finals should have been played this weekend – strange times indeed.

DB: Yes

DF: I know that many football fans have been watching old, classic games and that’s what we have been doing here on languagecaster and you will have noticed that our recent podcasts have focused on classic World Cup matches – this week, I took a look at the 1982 World Cup second round match between Brazil and Italy.

DB: Yes, now, that was a corker!

DF: It was indeed. Now maybe some of our listeners might not understand the phrase ‘a corker‘ as it is not so common these days, what does it mean Damon?

DB: A corker is a phrase used to describe a really exciting match – probably you could think of it meaning really, really, really excellent!

DF: So maybe something like a cracker.

Stinger: You’re listening to (In Thai)

Latest Podcasts

DB: Now, even though there is no football going on at the moment, we have been busy with updating content onto our football-language site here at languagecaster.

DF: Yes, Damon, as you mentioned earlier, we have added lots of podcasts connected to previous classic World Cup matches and so far we have done the 1982 Italy v Brazil second round match, the 1986 Brazil versus France quarter-final match

DB: That one was decided on penalties, right?

DF: Yes, that’s right – only the second time ever that penalties had been used in a World Cup. We also have podcasts about the 2010 World Cup game between Brazil and the Netherlands, as well as the 2014 match between the Netherlands and Spain.

DB: Now in all of these podcasts we take a look at some of the background to the match, as well as vocabulary describing the game itself and then a look back at what happened afterwards.

DF: Yes, that’s right and we also have a lot of new quizzes that can be used with these podcasts – you may have noticed that we have a new format for our quizzes – so, for instance there are quizzes on the 1930 World Cup and the 1986 and the 1982 World Cups – so good resources to help with the podcasts we are producing.

DB: We have also made a quiz on the 2002 World Cup and we will both be talking about that World Cup in an upcoming podcast – both of us were, of course, living in Japan at the time and both of us were at some of those World Cup matches.

DF: Yes, that’s right – great memories. I’m also currently working on a huge game from the 1994 USA World Cup between Nigeria and Italy – another cracker of a game and I will be posting that in the next couple of days.

Line up

DB: OK, what’s on the rest of this week’s show? Well, we’ll start with a football quiz question about one of the World Cups we have just mentioned and then look at some of the football phrases we’ve posted onto our site this week – last-gasp goal and grudge match. We then have some good news from the world of football – some positive stories to cheer people up – and then we discuss when football, at least in England, might start again.

Stinger: You’re listening to (In Turkish)


DF: OK, before we move on we’d also like to say thank you to all those who support us via Patreon which is where we have some bonus football-language content, such as posts, worksheets and transcripts. Come along and support the languagecaster team via our Patreon page.

DB: And since the COVID-19 lockdowns, we’ve been posting a lot more free content that is now freely available on Patreon. If you want to support us with a donation or by becoming a patron via please do! Every little helps to keep this podcast free and to allow us to keep running our site.

Football Quiz Question: 1982 World Cup Opening Game

DB: Right, time for a football quiz question. Earlier this week Damian did a podcast about the Brazil vs Italy World Cup second round match in 1982. If you have listened to that, you will probably be able to get the answer to this question, but let’s see. Now, in the 1990 version of the World Cup, the World Champions Argentina kicked off the tournament against Cameroon at the San Siro, Milan, Italy and they were shocked 1-0 by the African side. As World Champions, they also kicked off the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Who against and what was the score? So, who did Argentina play in the opening game of the World Cup 1982 and what was the score?

DF: And we’ll have the answer at the end of the show. Now, we have been updating our site here at languagecaster and recently I came across some posts from our first year – way back in the 2006-07 season – and I have been updating and adding them to our glossary and two of the phrases that I came across were ‘grudge game‘ and ‘last-gasp goal‘, so I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at these two phrases.

Football Language: Last-gasp goal

DB: OK, let’s start with the first. Now last-gasp in football means very late in the game, at the last moment or in the last minute, so for example, the 90th minute or afterwards, in injury or additional time. For example, these examples from 2007: John O’Shea’s goal against Liverpool was a last-gasp winner beating the Reds one-nil at Anfield. Ouch! And we can have a last-gasp equaliser as well: for example, Messi scored a last-gasp equaliser for Barcelona against Real Madrid. His goal meant that Barcelona drew with Real Madrid 3-3 in the 90th minute.

Here is a more recent example from the Guardian newspaper (November 24, 2018) ‘Ousmane Dembélé’s last-gasp goal saves draw for Barcelona at Atlético Madrid’.

DF: We have opened a question on our forum about last-gasp goals and so if you can think of any examples of last-gasp winners or equalisers then drop us a line. Damon, any examples?

DB: That’s easy. Divock Origi’s last-gasp winner for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby last season. A skied attempt by Van Dyke, a flap by the goalkeeper Pickford, and there was Origi to nod home. Brilliant! You?

DF: Well, for me the last-gasp goal that Lucas Moura scored for Tottenham against Ajax in the semi-final second leg match last season was one of my favourite last-minute or last-gasp goals.

DB: That was an incredible moment in an incredible game.

Football Language: Grudge match

DB: OK, next up is the phrase ‘grudge match’ and to hold a grudge is to have a bad feeling against someone because of something that has happened in the past. Of course, in football a lot of history builds up between clubs and if there has been some bad feeling in a game then the next time the teams meet the game becomes a grudge match. Examples of grudge matches included: Porto against Chelsea, of course, Mourinho used to be the manager of Porto and when he left he took some key players and staff. Some of the Porto fans have not forgiven him. A grudge match with a longer history is Real Madrid versus Bayern Munich. The Spanish side knocked Bayern out of the Champions League twice, in 2001 and 2004, while Bayern thrashed Madrid 4-1 and 4-0 in 2000.

DF: Yes, and to this list of grudge matches you can add Manchester United versus Arsenal – they were involved in some big battles in the first decade of the century: Pizzagate, that’s when United became the first team to beat Arsenal in 50 matches; the tunnel bust-up between Roy Keane and Patrick Viera in 2005 and the Van Nistlerooy missed penalty and Martin Keown celebration the following year all helped to create one of the biggest grudge matches in English football at the time. Now, another example of a grudge match between teams in England is West Ham v Sheffield United – this is because of Carlos Tevez – and which the BBC described as ‘The Premier League grudge match with 13 years of baggage’ (BBC, 25 October 2019). Apart from local derbies, can you think of any other grudge games?

DB: Well, recently Liverpool vs Southampton has become something of a grudge match for the Southampton fans because Liverpool have bought so many players from the south-coast side – there’s Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, to name a few.

DF: Yes, we’ve opened another question on our forum about this phrase so we’d love to hear from listeners about typical grudge games that they know about.

Stinger: You are listening to Languagecaster (Palermo Fan)


DF: Right, next up we’ re going to take a look at some of the football news from the past couple of weeks.

DB: Yes and normally we do a good, bad and ugly review of the news, but there is enough bad news, so let’s focus on the good in the football world. I’ll start with the decision from several teams in the Premier League to reverse their plan to ‘furlough’ – that means stop paying a salary for a period – many of their non-playing and non-coaching staff. Liverpool came in for a lot of criticism when they announced their plan to furlough staff. The criticism led to them deciding to reverse their plan. Teams like Tottenham and Bournemouth have followed suit. Damian?

DF: Well, in some more positive news, Chelsea and their owner Roman Abramovich decided to open the hotel at their ground to NHS medical staff to stay for free.

DB: Yes, well done Chelsea – I didn’t think I’d ever be saying that… And Premier League footballers are also doing their bit to help the health service, called the NHS in the UK, by donating money through an initiative called #PlayersTogether.

Return of football

DF: Good stuff. Now, another one of the big stories from this week involved the Premier League who met this week to discuss the possibilities of a return to action. Now, according to a report from the BBC, mid-June would represent the ‘best-case scenario‘ with the weekend of 13-14 June pencilled in as a possible start. Now, a ‘best-case scenario‘ means a perfect situation, so everything would need to be perfect before they could start playing again.

DB: Yes, and you mentioned that the weekend of June 13-14th has been pencilled in – what does that mean?

DF: To pencil something in means to plan something for a certain time or date but that time or date is not 100% fixed – it could be changed.

So, this would mean a pre-season in May – a time for players to get fit – and the season would then try to finish by the end of July – remember that there are 9 (or in some cases 10) games left to be played in the Premier League. This would then leave August free for European competitions to be completed, that is of course, the Champions League and the Europa League. Games would take place behind closed doors and the league has said that the NHS would have the final say, that is, they would be the organisation that decides whether or not the season can start again or not.

DB: Wow, a lot of ‘ifs and buts’. Part of me doesn’t mind the idea of playing behind closed doors. In a way, football is just a game between two teams and the vast majority of amateur games are not played in front of fans, so in that sense, it brings the game back to a kind of simplicity. But it’s very complicated!

DF: Yes, so actually it might be October before football resumes or returns. If, of course, the 2019-20 season even does re-start. We had a podcast a couple of weeks back looking at some of the language connected to this decision – void, suspend, cancel and postpone. I think the season should be finished no matter how long it takes – what do you think Damon?

DB: Well, for all sorts of reasons, one of which being the fact that Liverpool are so close to winning their first title for 30 years, I think it should be finished. I wonder what our listeners think? Let us know by leaving a comment on this post at

Football Quiz Question Answer

DF: Right, just before we go here is the answer to our football quiz question. We asked who did Argentina play in the opening game of the World Cup 1982 and what was the score? What’s the answer Damon?

DB: Well, the answer is they lost this opening game. And the score was 1-0, just like eight years later in 1990 against Cameroon. Their opponents were Belgium, so not quite as big a shock as the Cameroon 1-0 win, but still it surprised most pundits and fans at the time.

DF: I missed only two games from the 1982 World Cup and that opening match between Belgium and Argentina was one of them – the other was the final as I was on an extremely slow train from London to Málaga!


DF: Now, before we go, don’t forget that you can contact us here at languagecaster via our various social media platforms: that’s Facebook’s Learning English Through Football, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Spread the word, come and ask a question on our forums or simply drop us a line and say hello at Take care everyone – stay safe and we’ll see you soon. Bye bye.

DB: Yes, stay safe! Ta-ra!

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here If you have any suggestions, contact us at
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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