Football Language Podcast: Euro 2020 Day 6 – Ballooned Over

In this football language podcast we look back at some of the language from the Wales-Turkey Group A game on day six of the 2020 European Championships and in particular we look at the penalty miss from Gareth Bale. You can read a 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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Football Language Podcast Euros 2020: Day 6 – Ballooned Over

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team – I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the 2020 European Championships. OK, as regular listeners will know, we are still posting a football expression from the Euros every day – yesterday Damon looked at the expression ‘across the face of goal‘ from the match between Germany and France. And today I’m going to look at some of the words to describe Gareth Bale’s penalty miss from the Wales vs Turkey game on day six of the Euros.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Turkish).

Bale … scooped underneath the ball with his left foot and sent his effort ballooning over. ( June 16 2021)
Let’s start with the phrase ‘ballooning over‘ which the Guardian used in their report on the game. When a player misses badly – very badly – with a shot by hitting the ball over the bar, actually really high over the bar, then we sometimes can hear the phrase ‘balloon over the bar‘. When we think of a hot air balloon we can picture it flying high so this is the reason we use this phrase. So, Bale got under the ball (he scooped it) and sent the ball ballooning over (the goal or the bar).

Blaze over/Sky the ball

There are other ways to describe this kind of bad miss, including to blaze over, so when players fail to work the keeper by hitting the ball too high over the bar. This phrase suggests that there was quite a lot of power in the shot but very little accuracy as the ball flies over the bar. Another verb to describe this kind of shot is to ‘sky the ball‘ which means that the ball was hit hard over the bar – the player skied their shot over the bar from close range. Perhaps to sky is when a player gets under the ball and hits it high (so similar to balloon), whereas if the ball is blazed over it suggests a more powerful strike.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Welsh).

Good Bye

DF: Yes, you are listening to – that message was in Welsh. I don’t think the Welsh fans will mind so much about Bale’s penalty miss as they went on to win the game and all but guarantee a place in the last-16. Don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast and lots of vocabulary support which you can access by coming along to our site.

OK, that’s it for this short podcast – we hope you enjoyed our look back at the phrase ‘balloon over‘ from day six of the 2020 European Championships and we’ll be back with more tomorrow. Don’t forget you can also come along and play in our predictions competition, vote in our Euro 2020 poll – Italy are still the favourites amongs our listeners – and find lots of football language on our site here at Enjoy all the football and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye.

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