Football Language: (to) Convert

In this post we explain the football expression to ‘convert‘. If you have questions or comments, email us at:

  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

Football Language: (to) Convert

This verb is often used with the noun penalty – to convert a penalty. To convert means, in this context, to score, to successfully take your chance and turn it into a goal. It is also used to talk about scoring in general but this is not as common as its use with penalties. You may also hear the noun phrase ‘conversion rate’, which means the percentage of goals scored per penalty or shot taken.

Example: It looked like Hernandez had headed in from a yard to punish goalkeeper Sergio Rico’s mistake, but a replay from behind the goal clearly showed the Mexican striker converting via his arm.(22 Feb BBC).

Example: Both sides converted all five of their penalties in the shootout before England midfielder Loftus-Cheek was thwarted. (1 Aug 2019 Belfast Times)

Example: Resurgent Rooney has Europe’s best shot-conversion record (2017

Related Links

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Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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