Learn English Through Football Language Podcast: 2023 Europa League Winners

This short football language podcast looks back at some of the language from the 2023 Europa League final between Sevilla and Roma, including the phrases, ‘turn into their own net‘ and ‘steered home‘. You can read the 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 admin@languagecaster.com.

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Learn English Through Football Language Podcast: 2023 Europa League Winners

DF: Hello again everyone and welcome to Languagecaster.com – the football-language podcast for learners and teachers of English. I’m Damian and I’m here in London, while the other member of the languagecaster team is Damon who is in Tokyo, Japan. Now recently we posted a football language podcast on the language of relegation and specifically the term ‘survival‘ which was used to describe the teams that were not relegated on the final day of the season – they avoided the drop. Well, on this football-language podcast we look at some of the language from the 2023 Europa League final between Sevilla and Roma which was won by the Spanish side on penalties. Sevilla have now won this competition on seven occasions which is a remarkable achievement and thanks to this win they will play in next season’s Champions League.

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

Yes, that message was in Bemba from a fan from Zambia and yes, you are listening to Languagecaster.com. Now, remember that in addition to this podcast, you can also access all of our other football-language podcasts – we have hundreds of them that date back over 15 years. So, come along to our site here at Languagecaster.com.

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

So, congratulations to Sevilla after another victory in the Europa League. They defeated Jose Mourinho’s Roma side who were trying to win their second European title in a row after winning last season’s Europa Conference League. It was not a game for the purists with lots of stoppages in play, tough tackling and arguments with the referees. Roma had seven players booked while Sevilla had six. Let’s look at some of the language used to describe some of the key moments from the final including, ‘to steer the shot‘ and ‘turn into their own net‘ and we’ll be using a Guardian newspaper report to do this.

Steer the shot

…he took one touch to control and then steered the shot past Yassine Bono and into the net (Guardian.co.uk, 31 May 2023)
The opening goal of the game was scored by Argentinian forward Paolo Dybala. He was found by a Mancini pass (Mancini passed to him) and then after controlling the ball he directed the ball carefully and with accuracy past the keeper. The verb to steer is used in this example as it gives a sense of direction and tells us that Dybala deliberately placed the ball into one part of the net. So, to steer a shot means to guide the shot into the net – power is not so important but instead it is all about accuracy and placement. Here’s another example, this time from the BBC in the 2019 season:

Example: ‘…when Jamie Vardy arrived unmarked at the back post to steer in Iheanacho’s effort as it flew across the face of goal.’

So, in  this example it sounds as if the shot from Leicester’s Iheanacho was going wide but his team mate Vardy guided the ball into the net (he steered it in or he steered it home).

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Turn into his own net

Mancini got ahead of them but could only turn the ball into his own net. (Guardian.co.uk, 31 May 2023)
The Sevilla equaliser came in the second half when the winger crossed from the right-hand side and it looked like the forward was going to tap the ball home but instead the Roma defender reached the ball first but in his attempt to clear the ball he scored an own goal. Mancini turned the ball into his own net. This phrase suggests that the Roma player did not have any control over this – he didn’t deliberately score an own goal but in trying to stop the Sevilla player from scoring he inadvertently put it through his own net (he scored an own goal). The meaning of turn the ball here suggests that the defender sent the ball in a different way to where he actually wanted to send it – he turned the ball into his own net. Here’s another example on this phrase, again from the BBC.

Example: [The winger] delivered a teasing cross, swerving towards goal and which was turned into his own net by Kurt Zouma as he stretched to intercept, under pressure from Lys Mousset.

So in this example, the defender is under pressure to stop the cross (we know this is a dangerous cross as it is swerving or moving a lot, maybe moving away from the defender) and it is teasing which means that the keeper or defender might be tempted to go to the ball; here is a lot of uncertainty with this dangerous cross. Zouma – the defender – tried to stop (or intercept) the cross but ended up turning it into his own net – he scored an own goal.

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Found the net

he gave Montiel another chance, and this time the Argentinian found the net. (Guardian.co.uk, 31 May 2023)
The game went to penalties and after Roma missed two penalties the Argentinian defender Montiel had the chance to win the title from the spot which of course would have been the second major tournament win after he scored the winning penalty in the 2022 World Cup final. He was allowed to re-take his spot kick because the keeper encroached and this time he made no mistake. In the example, they use the phrase, ‘found the net‘ and this means that he scored – the ball hit the back of the net and the keeper did not stop it. Here’s another example from the BBC:

Example: Kevin de Bruyne found the net in the 82nd minute with a brilliant long-range effort which went in off the crossbar.

So, in this example, Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne scored in the 82nd minute – he found the net with a long-range goal or long-range strike (effort).

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OK, if you have any questions or comments then drop us an email at admin@languagecaster.com and you can also look out for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We also have a football-language forum where you can ask and answer any questions you have on the language of football – we’ve had lots of new questions and comments as we have updated a few new things on there. Come along and say hi or ask or indeed answer a question on football language. We’d love to know about phrases that you hear about football in any language. Recently, we’ve looked at some examples that use the words ‘announce a squad‘ or ‘name a squad‘ – and this is in reference to Serina Wiegman’s announcement of the England Women’s World Cup squad. We’ve also had questions on the phrases, ‘a charging run‘; ‘to relegate versus to be relegated‘ and an interesting question on the use of an apostrophe when describing a team (e.g. Pep’s City).

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


DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was from an Italian football fan. Don’t forget there’s a transcript for this short podcast and there’s lots of vocabulary support – we explain lots of the meanings of these words in the transcript, which you can access by coming along to our site. OK, that’s it for this podcast in which we looked back at some of the language from the 2023 Europa League final between Roma and Sevilla. We looked at the expressions, ‘turn into their own net‘ which is another way of saying scoring an own goal. We also looked at ‘to steer the ball home‘ which means to score with a carefully placed shot and also the expression, ‘find the net‘ which is a way of saying ‘to score’. Let us know if you hear any of these phrases – in any language. Enjoy all the football and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye!

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Learn English Through Football

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PodcastEpisode 60