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Football Language: Sweet left foot

sweet left footWhat is the meaning of the phrase ‘sweet left foot’ in football?

  • Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below.
  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

Sweet left foot

The expression a sweet strike is used in football to describe a really well-struck shot. The adjective ‘sweet’ refers to something that is perfect or good. So, for example: Juventus striker Dybala’s sweet left foot ensured a 3-0 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-final first leg. We can also use sweet in the phrase sweet spot, which means the perfect place, and in football if you hit the ball’s sweet spot, you hit the ball well, it’s a sweet strike. One interesting thing to note is that we only use this phrase with the left foot so we don’t say ‘a sweet right foot’.

  • Example: Juventus striker Dybala’s sweet left foot ensured a 3-0 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.
  • You can also see this phrase in the tweet below from Bayern Munich’s English-language site after Podolski’s goal against England in his final game for the national team.

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  • Hi everyone. What does “snake footer” mean here?

    Goal! Manchester City 3-1 Southampton (Gundogan, 45+3)
    That might put an end to that. Mahrez slaloms into the box with the half’s last action, snakes a right-footer against the far post and Gundogan reacts quickest to get back on the goal trail. How City are 3-1 up I don’t know. Well, I do … they’re City.

    • Hi Dwi,

      Thanks for the question. This is an interesting phrase.

      The structure is ‘to snake + something + preposition.

      So ‘Mahrez snakes a right footer (a right footed shot) against the post’. To snake is to ‘twist’, to ‘curve’, ‘to move through’. The image is of the ball moving through a tight space – maybe the area with lots of defenders. We could also say, ‘Mahrez shoots through the defenders and hits the woodwork.

      The Languagecaster Team

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