Learn English Through Football Language Podcast: 2021 Copa del Rey Final

In this short football language podcast we look at some football words and phrases from the 2021 Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao. In particular we look at the phrases, ‘one-sided‘; ‘goal blitz‘; ‘pass the ball past the keeper‘ and ‘one twos‘. Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here, and visit our site to access all the previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions, contact us at admin@languagecaster.com.

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Learn English Through Football Language Podcast: 2021 Copa del Rey Final

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team. I hope we are all doing well. Now on this short football language podcast we take a look back at the Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao in which Barca ran out 4-0 winners.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Catalan).

DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in Catalan – no doubt a happy football fan today after Barca’s 4-0 win in the Copa del Rey final yesterday. Before we move on to describe some of the language from that final, a quick reminder that there’s a transcript to this podcast which you can access by coming along to our site. And you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or you can drop us a line at: admin@languagecaster.com.

Right, let’s take a look at some of the words and phrases from the 2021 Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao – the second final in two weeks after Real Sociedad defeated Athletic 1-0. Tough times for the Basque club.

One-sided

When we talk about a game being ‘one-sided‘ we mean that one team (or side) has dominated the other, that they are much better than their opponent. So, a one-sided game means that it was not a close game because one side was much better than the other one and this is what happened in the Copa del Rey final last night. Barcelona dominated the game from start to finish and even though the score was 0-0 at half time there was never any doubt that Barca would be crowned champions. They eventually ran out 4-0 winners to claim their 31st Copa del Rey title which is the most by any club in Spain.

Goal blitz

Barcelona’s domination eventually paid off as they scored four times in 12 minutes in the second half. When a team scores a lot of goals in a short period of time like this, we can hear phrases such as blitz or burst. Blitz is a military term and means a quick or intensive set of attacks so when this is used in football it describes one team constantly attacking the other leading to goals being scored. So, a four-goal blitz means that one team scored four times in a short space of time.

Here’s an example from the Guardian newspaper – their headline is: Second-half goal blitz seals first trophy since 2019 (Guardian.co.uk, April 2019)

One twos

Now a one-two (or a wall pass) is a type of pass involving two players quickly passing the ball around the opponent – it’s a great way to break down a defence and this is what Leo Messi did for Barcelona’s third goal in the final. He won the ball in his own half, played a quick one-two with his team mate before moving forward with the ball. He then played another one-two with his team mate Frenkie de Jong just outside the box before cutting inside another defender and calmly scoring his side’s third goal. A double set of one-twos.

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Passed the ball home

When Messi scored that third goal for Barcelona his finish was wonderful; he was extremely calm and simply passed the ball past the keeper. Other ways of saying this include, ‘slotting the ball home‘ or ‘guiding the ball home,’ where ‘home‘ refers to the goal and both of these phrases suggest not only calmness but also accuracy from the player scoring the goal. Messi was so good he didn’t even have to hit the ball hard; instead he simply passed the ball past the keeper.


Stinger: You’re listening to languagecaster.com (in Irish).

Good Bye

DF: OK, that’s it for this short podcast – we hope you have enjoyed our look back at some of the language from the 2021 Copa del Rey final and in particular at the phrases, ‘one-sided‘; ‘goal blitz‘; ‘one-twos‘ and ‘pass the ball into the net‘. Let us know if you hear any of these phrases or maybe if you know how to say them in another language – drop us a line at: admin@languagecaster.com. And we’ll have more football phrases to talk about in our next podcast. Enjoy all the football this week and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye.

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