This football language podcast looks back at the third day of the last 16 action and the two ties between Spain and Croatia and France and Switzerland. We focus on the word goalfest. 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)

Goalfest – FootballLanguage: Euro 2020: Last 16 Day 3

DB: You’re listening to’s football language Euro 2020 podcast. Hello everyone and welcome to our Euro 2020 football language podcast. My name is Damon, one half of the languagecaster team. I’m based in Tokyo and Damian, who is the other side of the world, is in London. Well, what a day. Perhaps one of the greatest days of European Championship action as Spain took on Croatia and France faced Switzerland.

These two games produced 14 goals between them. That is an amazing number, more than were scored in the whole of Group D in qualifying and the same as Group A. That is why I want to dedicate the football phrase goalfest to this day of action!

Stinger: You are listening to (Spanish).


DB: Yes you are listening to languagecaster and our football language podcast and that message was in Spanish.

So, goalfest: what does it mean? Well, what a wonderful word, a blend of the noun goal and the word festival. Festival, which of course means big party, carnival, celebration, has been clipped, or shortened, to ‘fest’ and added to goal to give us goalfest. A festival of goals. It gives the impression of craziness, of madness, of abandon, and that’s what these two games gave us.

Spain vs Croatia finished 3-3 in 90 minutes and 5-3 to the Spanish after extra time. Likewise, France vs Switzerland ended 3-3, but extra time was a stalemate, no more goals were scored. That game swung Switzerland’s way only when Mbappe swung his foot and his penalty was saved in the penalty shootout.

Embed from Getty Images

Here is the BBC describing the earlier game: “Euro 2020: Croatia 3-5 Spain – all the goals in 90 seconds in thrilling Euros goalfest.” Followed by another sub-heading: “Relive all the action from the eight-goal thriller between Croatia and Spain in their last-16 Euro 2020 tie.”


The second heading uses thriller in place of goalfest, so ‘thrilling Euro goalfest‘ becomes ‘eight-goal thriller‘. When using thriller you can add the number of goals. Here is skysport writing about the France versus Switzerland game: “Kylian Mbappe sensationally missed the decisive shoot-out penalty as Switzerland knocked out Euro 2020 favourites France after a six-goal thriller to set up a quarter-final clash with Spain.

We could also say that the third day of the last 16 was a 14-goal thriller, a real goalfest!

We can also add other nouns to ‘fest‘ to describe a lot of something in a game. For example, a foulfest is a match with a lot of fouls; a cardfest is a game where the referee shows a lot of yellow and, probably, red cards.

 A Feast of Football

DB: One more phrase that springs to mind when thinking about these two incredible games is the cliche ‘a feast of football‘. A feast of football is when the fans are treated to a lot of great action, usually a tournament like the Euros or Copa América. Well, day three of the last 16 delivered a feast of football for football fans in just two games!

Stinger: You are listening to (in Danish).

Good Bye

DB: Yes, you are listening to and that message was in German. Right, that brings us to the end of this short football language podcast. I talked about describing fantastic action with the phrases goalfest, six-goal thriller, and a feast of football. Let’s hope day 4 of the knockout round serves up another feast!

That’s it for this short podcast. Drop us a line anytime at And remember, you can read the transcript for the show by coming along to our website at Enjoy all the football. Ta-ra!

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Free football language podcast for learners of English brought to you by Damian and Damon. Interviews, match reviews, predictions all with full language support for football fans around the world who wish to improve their English language skills.

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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 “tails” mean here?

    80 min: England’s tails are very visibly up after taking the lead. Can they hold on to or even extend it with 10 minutes plus added time left on the clock?

    • The phrase ‘tails are up‘ is used to describe when a team is feeling confident – you can see this when a team is leading or maybe has just scored a goal. So, psychologically England became stronger after scoring their goal – they became more confident.

Euro 2020Episode 756