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Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2023-24 Champions League Group Stage Review

In this football language podcast we look back at the final matches from the 2023-24 Champions League group stages and look at some of the language in our review of the good and the bad. 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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Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2023-24 Champions League Group Stage Review

DF: Hello everyone, my name is Damian and you’re listening to’s football language podcast. The podcast for everyone who wants to improve their football language and of course who loves the beautiful game of football. Now, I’m based in a cold and wet London – we are definitely in winter now – and it is the day after the last set of group stage matches from this season’s Champions League. And on this short podcast I’ll be looking back at some language from these games in our review of the good and the bad.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Danish)

The Good

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DF: Well, that message was in Danish and it was a good, maybe even a great, campaign from the Danish side FC Copenhagen who qualified for the knock-out stage of the competition for only the second time in their history; indeed their coach Jacob Neestrup called the victory over Galatasaray as ‘historical’. Few gave the Danish side any chance in a group that contained former winners Bayern Munich and Manchester United, as well as Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray but they surprised everyone with their performances throughout the group stage. They managed eight points but were unlucky to not get even more. Great stuff indeed! Well done to FC Copenhagen. 

It was good for Porto in their ‘winner-takes-all’ match against Shakhtar Donetsk – they won 5-3 and qualified for the last 16. But it was also a good night for two clubs with no chance of making the last 16; as Celtic finally won a Champions League game by beating Dutch side Feyenoord 2-1 with a last-minute winner. And this was the first time in 16 matches that the Scottish side won a match in the Champions League. FC Antwerp recorded their first ever Champions League win after they defeated Barcelona – 3-2 – again, with a last-minute goal. Now neither Celtic nor Antwerp will play in Europe in the New Year but these victories will live long in the memory of all of their football fans.


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Well, it was a bad couple of nights for two of the English clubs as home defeats saw both Newcastle and Manchester United finish bottom of their respective groups. United lost 0-1 to Bayern Munich and they never really looked like beating the German side even though they had already confirmed top spot in the group. United only won one game and conceded a remarkable 15 goals in their six matches – they didn’t even make the Europa League and their campaign can only be described as disastrous. The other English team to finish bottom of their group was Newcastle but at least they had the excuses of being inexperienced at Champions League level. And of course playing in the Group of Death – Dortmund and PSG qualified for the next round, while AC Milan, who defeated Newcastle 2-1, qualified for the Europa League. Now, there might be further bad news for English clubs as there will be two extra spots in next year’s Champions League which all depends on the results of this year’s competition and with two English sides finishing bottom it does not look good for that extra spot for the premier League teams next season.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Dutch)

Bow out and Crash out

Celtic bowed out of Europe on a high by ending a ten-year wait for a Champions League win on home soil.  ( December 13 2023)

Yes, that message was in Dutch – well done to PSV who qualified for the last 16. Now, talking about Newcastle and Manchester United’s elimination from this year’s Champions League reminds me that there are different ways to describe when teams that are knocked out of a competition, that is, they are no longer in the competition or tournament. A team can be dumped out of the tournament and this suggests that it is either a little bit of a surprise – maybe they were beaten by a lower-ranked side – or they were badly beaten. On the UEFA website, both Celtic and Antwerp were described as bowing out of the competition, which suggests that although they were knocked out they did not really disgrace themselves or that it was pretty much expected that they would not qualify anyway. On the other hand, both Newcastle and especially Manchester United were seen to ‘crash out‘ of the competition which suggests that they under-achieved or performed really badly. 

Stinger: You are listening to (in French)


DF: Yes, you are listening to and that message was in French. Remember, that here at languagecaster you can find out more about some of the words and phrases that we have already discussed on the show, along with hundreds more football-language expressions by checking out our football-language glossary. Come along and have a look.  


Football Language Glossary

Stinger: You are listening to (in Catalan).


DF: OK, if you have any questions or comments about any of the words and phrases from today or indeed any other football language then drop us an email at And you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram, while we are also now posting some material on our YouTube page. Come along and say hello. 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 a recent question around the phrase, ‘to be out on your feet‘ and another one that we have just received is ‘condemn to defeat‘. Take a look at some of the posts there, then we’ve also got some quizzes maybe you could add a comment or a question or simply come along and say hi.

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DF: And of course, don’t forget to subscribe to our football-language podcasts. We have recently posted podcasts around the phrases, ‘fortress‘ and ‘injury crisis‘. You can access those and all of our other football-language podcasts. We have hundreds of them stretching back to October 2006.  

Learning English Through Football Podcast

Stinger: You are listening to (in Catalan).



DF: Don’t forget there’s a transcript for this short podcast with lots of vocabulary support. If you look at the posts on our site you can see that we explain lots of the meanings of these words in the transcript. So, come along and have a look! OK, that’s it for this podcast in which we looked at some language from the last set of matches from this season’s Champions League group stages. We looked at the differences also between ‘bow out‘ and ‘crash out‘ – let us know if you hear these phrases or any other phrases connected to being knocked out of a competition – in any language at all.  

DF: Now, the draw for the last-16 of this season’s Champions League takes place on Monday and it will be really interesting to see which teams are drawn against each other. Which teams do you think might win this season’s Champions League – we have just posted a poll so come along to the site and let us know who you think might win this season’s Champions League. Enjoy all the football and we’ll be back soon with some more football language. Bye bye!

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

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