This short football language podcast looks at the phrases ‘to be outclassed‘ and ‘to outclass‘. 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

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DF: Hello again everyone and welcome to – the football-language podcast for learners and teachers of English. I’m Damian and I’m here in a bright but cold London, while of course, the other member of the Languagecaster team is Damon who is based in Japan. I hope we are all doing well and enjoying all the football even us long-suffering Tottenham fans! On this podcast we take a look at a phrase ‘to be outclassed‘ that was used recently in a BBC match report on the Champions League game between Bruges and Benfica. We can use this verb to highlight the more dominant or stronger team (to outclass another side) or more commonly to refer to the team that has been outplayed or who has performed badly against their opponents (this isto be outclassed).

Now, remember that you can also access all of our other football-language podcasts – we have hundreds of them stretching back to October 2006 – by coming along to our site here at

Learning English Through Football Podcast

Stinger: You are listening to (in French)

OK, let’s take a look at the phrase to be outclassed.


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Bruges are making their debut in the Champions League knockouts and were outclassed by the Portuguese side, who topped Group H ahead of Paris St-Germain and Juventus. (, February 15 2023)
So, as I mentioned before, I’ll be looking at the phrases ‘outclassed‘; ‘to be outclassed‘ or ‘to outclass‘ after a BBC report used them to describe Belgian side Bruges’ recent poor performance. In the recent Champions League last-16 first leg match between Belgian side Bruges and Portuguese team Benfica the phrase ‘outclassed‘ was used to describe the Belgian side who were easily beaten by Benfica despite being at home – they lost 0-2 and look like they will almost certainly not make the quarter-finals.

If one team outclasses another team it means that they are much better than their opponent; they are far superior to their opponents in every way and they easily win the game – maybe even by a large scoreline. To be outclassed means that your own team has not played well at all and that the other team has dominated you in performance and maybe even in scoreline. If we want to emphasise that a team has been dominant or has been dominated we can add an adverb to make it stronger. So, for example, ‘completely’ or ‘comprehensively’ are often added to make the meaning even more emphatic – the team were completely or totally outclassed.

Here are some more examples of some phrases with outclass/be outclassed in football from the website (2019):

  • …[they] were outclassed by rivals Manchester City in the Carabao Cup.
  • … after they were comprehensively outclassed by Bayern Munich in the Champions League
  • Brighton were completely outclassed and did not manage a single shot
  • Kevin de Bruyne scores twice as City outclass Arsenal

You can also hear some more explanations and examples of this term from a podcast we did on the Manchester derby back in 2022 when City thrashed United 4-1. They outclassed them, United were outclassed.

Learn English through Football Podcast: 2022 Manchester Derby



Football Language Glossary

Stinger: You are listening to (in Danish)


OK, if you have any questions or comments then drop us an email at 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.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Vietnamese).


DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was from two Vietnamese fans. 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 short podcast about the phrase ‘to be outclassed’ and ‘to outclass‘. I wonder will your team outclass an opponent this week? Let us know if you hear these phrases in any language while watching football over the next few days. Enjoy all the football and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye!

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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