Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2020 Champions and Europa League Finals Tournaments

Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2020 Champions and Europa League Finals TournamentsLearn English Through Football Podcast – 2020 Champions and Europa League Finals Tournament: This week’s football-language podcast looks ahead to the Champions League and the Europa League tournaments that are being played in Portugal and Germany over the next two weeks. We look at some of the language involved in these two competitions including words and phrases around the format, some of the new rules and of course ways of describing the games themselves. We also review some of the other football news from the week, discuss some newspaper headlines, ask a football-language quiz question, introduce some new polls, offer some predictions and of course explain some of the language that has emerged from the football world this week.

Listen to the podcast by clicking on the file below – you can also subscribe and listen to all our football-language podcasts – there are hundreds of them dating from way back in 2006! Improve your English by reading the transcript as you listen, or if you are a teacher of English you can use the transcript to make several listening and/or reading activities for your learners. If you have questions or comments then you can email us at: admin@languagecaster.com (Damon=DB; Damian=DF).

Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2020 Champions and Europa League Finals Tournament


DF: You are listening to languagecaster.com. Hello everyone, we hope you are all safe and well and welcome to the podcast for fans of football who wish to improve their English language skills. My name’s Damian and I’m based in London where it is really, really hot – of course London is not ready for this kind of weather at all! Hello Damon, how are things and how is the weather in Tokyo?

DB: Hi Damian. It’s very hot here too, but it may be even hotter in England, and London especially. I hope you are surviving. I managed to play my first game of football for a year last weekend, when the temperatures were in the 30s. It was lots of fun but I think I drank about three litres of water. What football have you been watching?

DF: Well done on playing some football! Well, I watched the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Arsenal too, which of course the Gunners managed to win 2-1 – they came from behind to defeat their London rivals. Then on Tuesday I watched the Championship play-off final between west London rivals Brentford and Fulham to decide which of them would play in the Premier League next season; Fulham won 2-1 after extra time. I also saw the last-16 matches between Manchester City and Real Madrid which was won fairly easily by City and between Napoli and Barcelona who won 3-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate  to qualify for the quarter finals that start next week.

Now, it’s a little strange that there is football on in August but of course this time last year I was at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium watching Spurs beat Aston Villa on the opening day of the 2019-20 season and earlier on this week I posted a short podcast that reviews Tottenham’s season. We have been quite busy on our site this week – what other new content has been posted?

DB: There is a listening gap-fill activity connected to our final 2019-20 Premier League season podcast, we also have lots of football language such as, Goldilocks player, top flight, advance, sweep past and sweep home, while there are some explanations of football newspaper headlines and our new predictions competition which we will explain more about later on in the show.

Line up

You are listening to languagecaster.com (in French)

DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that message was in French. Send us a message in your language too – just contact us here at admin@languagecaster.com. And please think about supporting what we do via patreon.com/languagecaster.

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

DF: Now, what’s on the rest of the show, Damon?

DB: Right, we start with a quick look at some of the new polls we have on our site, then we review some of the football stories from the week in our good, the bad and ugly section. After that we preview the two big European tournaments taking place over the next two weeks: The Champions League and the Europa League – we’ll be looking at some of the language used to describe the format, the teams and of course the games themselves. We then explain some more football language and a football-language question – all about the word ‘home’ in football. We’ll finish off with some predictions from both the Champions and Europa League finals taking place over the next two weeks.


DF: OK, we have a couple of new polls this week – we want to know which teams are going to win the Champions League and the Europa League both of which are at the quarter-final stage and start this week.

DB: Listeners, let us know what you think and keep your eyes out for these polls or come along to the site at languagecaster.com. Which team is our listeners’ favourites for the Champions League so far?

DF: Well, with Real Madrid and Juventus – two powerhouses of the European game – eliminated in the last-16, Manchester City have the most votes so far – just ahead of Barcelona and Atlético Madrid. And Manchester United are currently the most popular team to win this season’s Europa League just ahead of Inter, Sevilla and Wolves.

DF: Right, next up we review the football news from the week and don’t forget that you can read along while listening to the podcast by coming along to languagecaster and accessing the transcript to the show – complete with vocabulary support. Right, here’s Damon with some of the good news from the last few days in football.

Stinger: Hi my name is Dave and you are listening to languagecaster.com (from an Arsenal fan)

Football News: Good

Embed from Getty Images

DB: Congratulations to Arsenal on winning their 14th FA Cup title – a record – after their 2-1 comeback win over Chelsea. Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bagged a brace to give Arsenal’s new manager Mikel Arteta his first piece of silverware and allowed the Gunners to enter next season’s Europa League.

DF: Not too happy from this Tottenham supporter but well done to them. It was also a great week for Fulham who managed to bounce back to the Premier League after only one season in the Championship. Well done also to Lyon who knocked out Juventus from the last-16 of the Champions League despite losing the away leg 2-1. It was a remarkable feat for a side that has not played since March and who finished in 7th place in Ligue 1. They will now face favourites Manchester City in the last 8.

DB: How about some of the bad news from the week?

Football News: Bad

Embed from Getty Images

DF: A bad week for Italian and Spanish league title winners Juventus and Real Madrid who were both eliminated, knocked out, of this season’s Champions League at the last-16 stage. Madrid were 2-1 down after their first leg defeat against Manchester City way back at the end of February but they had put together a wonderful run of form since La Liga returned after lockdown and felt they had a chance to lift the trophy for the 14th time. This was not to be however as a couple of big defensive errors – or blunders – by their French World Cup winning defender Raphaël Varane allowed Manchester City to win the match 2-1 and the tie 4-2 on aggregate.

It was also a really bad night for Juventus as they were knocked out by French side Lyon. Leading 1-0 from the first leg, the French side scored a disputed penalty which meant Juve had to score three times to go through – Ronaldo managed a brace but it was not enough and the Italian giants were out. Soon after this defeat the club announced that their title-winning manager Sarri had been sacked and replaced by former club legend Pirlo as the club still seeks its first Champions League title since 1995.

DB: I’m sure the £20 million payment will cheer Sarri up a bit though.

2019-20 Champions League Tournament

DB: Right, next up we look ahead to the two European tournaments that take place over the next two weeks. First up here’s Damian with a preview of the Champions League and then I will look at the Europa League.

DF: The 2019-20 Champions League will start next week at the quarter-final stage after the four remaining last-16 matches were finished at the weekend. There are two sides from France: PSG and underdogs Lyon; two from Spain: five-time winners Barcelona and three-times runners-up Atlético Madrid and there are two representatives from Germany: five-time winners and current Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and new boys RB Leipzig. There is also one team each from England and Italy: favourites for the competition Manchester City and Italian outsiders Atalanta.

The first of the four quarter-finals kicks off on Wednesday when Atalanta face PSG in Benfica’s home stadium, the Estádio da Luz. In fact, all of the games will take place in the Portuguese capital Lisbon with other games being played at Sporting’s stadium, while another difference to previous Champions League seasons is that there will only be one knock-out match – not two legs – so no real room for mistakes. The semi-finals will be played on the 18th and 19th of August with the final taking place on Sunday the 23rd. Which two sides will reach the final? Well, many can see a Manchester City vs PSG final but I’m going for an Atlético Madrid vs Bayern Munich final with ‘Atleti’ finally winning their first Champions League title.

How about the Europa League Damon?

2019-20 Europa League Tournament

DB: Right, the Europa League competition has reached the quarter final stages and all games will be played at a neutral venue in Germany in the following cities:  Cologne, Düsseldorf, Duisburg or Gelsenkirchen. The games will be played behind closed doors. The draw is –

  • Shakhtar Donetsk vs Basel
  • Manchester United vs Copenhagen
  • Inter Milan vs Bayer Leverkusen
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Sevilla

These games will be played on the 10th and 11th of August. Five substitutes will be allowed, and six if the games go to extra time. However, the managers can only change players three times (or four if the tie goes to extra time).

The semi finals will be held next week on the 17th and 18th. The winner of  the first quarter final will play the winner of the third. The winner of the second quarter final will therefore play the winner of the fourth. That could mean an all English semi final if Manchester United and Wolves get past Copenhagen and Sevilla respectively. The favorites with the bookies are Manchester United, followed by Inter Milan. Dark horses are Sevilla, who have a great record in this competition, winning it three times on the bounce between 2014 and 2016.

The final will take place at FC Köln’s stadium on the 21st of August.

Football Language: Advance

DB: And next up we explain some more football language connected to the these European competitions that has emerged from the week.

DF: We are now about to start the knock-out tournaments to decide the winners of the 2019-20 Europa and Champions League winners and so our phrase for this week is the verb ‘to advance‘ which is used to describe when a team goes through or qualifies for the next round. So, for example, when Manchester City defeated Real Madrid 2-1 in their last-16 match they advanced to the last 8 – they qualified for the last 8. A team can advance to the next round of a tournament – which four sides will advance to the semi-finals of this year’s Champions League?

Stinger: Hi, my name is Izzy. I’m a fan of Dulwich Hamlet and you’re listening to languagecaster.com. 

DB: Remember that you can drop us a line here at languagecaster through our various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. We also have a football language forum and thanks to those who have joined in the conversations and answered some of the football-language quizzes there.

DF: Talking of football-language quizzes, next up we have this week’s quiz question.

Football Language Quiz: Home

DB: In this week’s football language quiz we look at the word ‘home’ when used to describe a goal in football. And we want to know which of the following is not used with the word ‘home’?

  1. Kick home
  2. Head home
  3. Volley home
  4. Smash home

DF: And we’ll have the answer at the end of the show.

Predictions: Champions League/Europa League

DB: Next up we look at some of the big games in our new predictions competition from the Champions League and the Europa League. Which teams do you think will win through to the finals on the 21st and 23rd of August? Simply log in, add your scores below and play against Damon, Damian and lots of football-language fans around the world in this short predictions battle of 14 games over two weeks. There will be prizes – we will offer a football book as first prize to the winner. Remember that it’s three points for a perfect score and one for the correct score. Good luck!

Europa League: Sevilla vs Wolves

DB: Wolves overcame stiff opposition against a good Olympiacos side, and the one-off game will suit them more than home and away I think. So, I’m going to go for a surprise win for the Midlands side from England. Maybe 2-1.

DF: I am not so sure as Wolves’ form has not been great in the past month while Sevilla have not been beaten in 17 matches – a club record – qualified for the Champions League and of course as you have already mentioned have a fantastic record in this competition with five titles. 2-0 to Sevilla for me.

Champions League: Atalanta vs PSG

DB: This tie is screaming for an underdog win! And that’s what I’m going for – a massive upset and Atalanta to beat the French Champions 2-1, maybe in extra time.

DF: I am going to agree with you that Atalanta will win but there will be more goals: 3-2 for me!

Champions League: RB Leipzig vs Atlético Madrid

DF: OK, Leipzig versus Atlético Madrid. I’ve already mentioned that I think (or is that hope?) Diego Simeone’s side will win the whole tournament so I’m going for a 2-0 win against a Leipzig side without their best player from the earlier rounds of the competition Timo Werner who, of course, has been transferred to Chelsea. Damon?

DB: Atlético to advance. 1-0.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (from Laos)

Football Language Quiz Answer: Home

DB: Right, it’s time for the answer to our football language quiz question and we wanted to know which of the following expressions with ‘home’ is not used in football.

  1. Kick home
  2. Head home
  3. Volley home
  4. Smash home

DF: Well, the answer is number 1 – ‘kick home’ which is not usually used in football although it sounds fairly logical; to kick the ball into the net. The other three all describe ways to score a goal: with your head, on the volley and with great power!

DB:  Well done if you got that right and we’ll have another question next week.

Good Bye

DF: OK, that’s it for this week’s show. See you next week when we’ll be talking about the Champions League and Europa League semi-finals. Come along to our site, say hello, participate in the polls, ask or answer some of the questions on our forums and just generally let us know what you think of the show. Bye bye.

DB: Ta-ra!

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