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Full Stretch – Football Language: Euro 2020 – Day 13

This football language podcast looks back at Day 13 of the 2020 European Championships. We talk about some football phrases connected with goalkeeping and the Portugal versus France match. 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 (DB=Damon)

Full Stretch – Football Language: Euro 2020 – Day 13

DB: You’re listening to’s football language Euro 2020 podcast. Welcome everyone to languagecaster and our daily Euro 2020 football language podcast. My name is Damon, one half of the languagecaster team. I’m based in Tokyo and have been watching the Euros most evenings and mornings over here. How are things with you? I hope you are well and enjoying all of the great football taking place at the moment.

On this show, I will be talking about action from the Portugal versus France game, which ended 2-2 but was a real see-saw game, with the referee pointing to the spot, awarding a penalty, an incredible three times. I’d like to particularly focus on some goalkeeping action from the second half involving the Portuguese keeper, Rui Patrício.

Full StretchStinger: You are listening to (Portuguese).

Fingertip Save

DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was in Portuguese.

OK, the language I want to focus on today is not connected with penalties, even though three were awarded. Instead, I want to talk about a great moment when the Portugal keeper, Patrício, kept Portugal in the hunt for a last 16 spot with some great goalkeeping.

Here is how the BBC match report described the action: “Goalkeeper Rui Patricio also made a vital contribution – brilliantly denying Pogba from long range with a fingertip save, before recovering to palm away Antoine Griezmann’s rebounded effort in the second half.

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There are two saves by the keeper and both deny France a goal. The verb ‘deny‘ is often used to describe a save. For example, Patrício denied Pogba means the goalkeeper stopped, saved, Pogba’s shot and stopped him scoring.

The first save was a fingertip save. This is when the keeper just manages to touch the ball and move it away from goal. A fingertip save is great save made with the end of the fingers.

Full Stretch

We can also say, he was at full stretch when he made the save. Full stretch is when a goalkeeper jumps and extends his arms fully, reaching for the ball. They are at their maximum possible reach. Patrício was definitely at full stretch when he made a great fingertip save to deny Pogba.

Then there was a second dramatic save. The BBC report describes it, remember, by using the phrase to palm away: he palmed away Griezmann’s effort.

Your palm is the inside part of your hand, and to palm means to use this part of the hand to save the ball. The verb often goes with, nouns like ‘ball’, ‘shot’, ‘effort’, or ‘cross’. You will also probably hear prepositions like ‘away’,  ‘around’ or ‘over’. So, palm the effort around the post, or palm the shot over the bar.

Claw Away

Another way to describe the save would be to claw away. This describes a desperate save, where the keeper is automatically trying to grab, catch, punch the ball. They are basically trying to react quickly to a close range shot.

At 1-0 down and 2-1 down, and even at 2-2, Portugal’s hopes of progressing to the round of 16 were in the balance. They have their goalkeeper to thank for keeping them in the tournament.

Stinger: You are listening to (in French).

Good Bye

DB: Yes, you are listening to and that message was in French. OK, that brings us to the end of this short football language podcast. We talked about fingertip saves, denying someone a goal, being at full stretch, palming an effort away, and clawing a shot away. Check out our ‘Language of Goalkeepers‘ post and also check out our huge glossary of football phrases if you want to learn more about the language of football.

That’s it for this short podcast. Drop us a line anytime at or leave a message after this post at Enjoy all the football. Ta-ra!

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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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  • What does “effort” actually mean?
    He palmed away Griezmann’s effort.

    Second, you used the word “would” in this sentence, how does it work? Does it mean probably?

    Another way to describe the save would be to claw away.

    • Hi Dwi,

      ‘effort’ is a shot, an attempt, a try on goal. You may hear commentators say ‘good effort’ -, meaning a good shot that was close to a goal.

      ‘would’ is used in the sentence to introduce an option. It means there are other options: “Another way to describe the save would be to claw away, but you can also say scramble away.


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