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Football Language Podcast: Take the Ball to the Corner Flag

Football Language PodcastIn this short football language post we explain the expression ‘take the ball to the corner flag‘ and how it is used in football. Check out our football glossary  and  football cliches pages for hundreds more explanations of the language of soccer. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at:

Football Language Podcast: Take the Ball to the Corner Flag

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team. I hope we are all doing well and staying safe wherever we are in the world. Today’s football language podcast will look at a phrase which is connected with game management – take the ball to the corner flag. Don’t forget that there is a transcript for this report which can be accessed from our site at

Stinger: You are listening to (in Italian).

DF: OK, so in a recent match from the Premier League I noticed that Manchester City midfield star Kevin De Bruyne received the ball from one of his team mates and instead of running or passing towards the opposition’s goal he dribbled the ball towards the corner flag. It was in injury time – well after the 90th minute – and De Bruyne wanted to run down the clock and one of the most effective ways of doing this is by taking the ball to the corner flag. If a player takes it to the corner it means it’s a lot harder for the opposition to score as it’s so far away from the goal. Although this kind of play is allowed in the game – no foul has been committed – many view this kind of action as being quite cynical as teams are wasting time. It is very frustrating but when my team are winning with a minute remaining I am screaming for them to take the ball to the corner to manage the game, run down the clock and pick up the three points.

Example: ‘Spurs were taking the ball into the corner‘ – Mourinho’s tactics questioned by ex-Tottenham winger Andros Townsend (, July 2020).

DF: Thanks everyone for listening – we hope you enjoyed our look at the phrase ‘taking the ball to the corner flag‘. Listen out for examples of this phrase when you are watching football and maybe you can let us know how this phrase is said in other languages. Drop us a line at or, of course, you can drop a comment in the section below the post here at languagecaster.

Don’t forget there is also a transcript for the report which can be accessed for free at languagecaster. OK, we’ll be back soon with some more football language. Enjoy all the football this week – see you soon. Bye bye.

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here. If you have any suggestions, contact us at
Image Attribution: Oleg Bkhambri (Voltmetro)
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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