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Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2023 Copa Libertadores Final Review – Fluminense v Boca Juniors

2023 Copa Libertadores Final

In this football language podcast Damian looks back at some of the good, the bad and the ugly from the 2023 Copa Libertadores final between Fluminense and Boca Juniors in the Maracanã Stadium Brazil. In particular, he looks at the phrases, ‘  ‘ Don’t forget we have hundreds more explanations of football language in our football glossary and we also have a page full of football cliches. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at:

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Learn English Through Football Podcast: 2023 Copa Libertadores Final Review – Fluminense v Boca Juniors

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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 based here in London where the weather has been very wet indeed – storms, floods and heavy rain for the past couple of weeks. Hopefully the weather has been good where you are.

Now, apologies for no podcasts from me over the past couple of weeks but as a teacher the start of term is always a busy time. But the other member of the Languagecaster team, Damon, has been posting some wonderful football-language podcasts, including the phrase ‘Orange card’, the nickname of the Everton football team – ‘the Toffees‘ and most recently he explained the expression ‘bundle home‘. So come along to our site here at and give them a listen. You can of course also subscribe to our football-language podcasts and if you already do then thank you so much indeed.

Stinger: You are listening to (from an Brazilian fan)


Now on this podcast I am going to be looking back at some of the words and phrases from the 2023 Copa Libertadores final between Fluminense and Boca Juniors that took place this weekend. But before we look back at some of the good, the bad and the ugly from the Copa Libertadores final let’s take a look at some of the key words you might hear.

  1. After extra time (AET): An extra 30 minutes are added on to the game when teams have drawn after 90 minutes – this time is added on in order to find a winner and this is used in cup games not in league games.
  2. Open the scoring (Broke the deadlock): The deadlock is when there has been no score so to break the deadlock means to score the first goal of the game.
  3. Sweep home: To score a goal – usually hit first time, powerful and low.
  4. Fail to turn up: Players (or a team) did not play as well as they should have done.
  5. Gamesmanship: This is when a player tries to gain an advantage over their opponents by using things such as time wasting and diving. Some think this is cheating while others think that it is part of the game.
  6. To be shown a direct red: To receive a red card for foul or violent play. This is different from when a player receives two yellow cards.

OK, try and listen out for these words.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Vietnamese)

The Good

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Well, it was a good night for the Brazilian side Fluminense who finally won their first ever Copa Libertadores title after defeating Boca Juniors 2-1 after extra time (AET). They became the 26th different side to lift the continental trophy and are the first new name on the trophy since 2006, while they also continue Brazilian domination of the competition – the last five years have now all been won by Brazilian clubs.

It was also a good night for the top scorer in this season’s competition Germán Cano who opened the scoring for Fluminense with a crisp strike in the first half – he swept home from his team mate Keno’s cross. Sweeping home suggests that the ball was kept low and hit first time and with power. The Argentinian striker has had a wonderful season and has scored 13 goals in this year’s tournament, which was one more than their opponents Boca in the whole competition. Well done also to former Brazilian international and Real Madrid player Marcelo who became the 15th player to win both the Copa Libertadores and the European Champions League.

The Bad

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It was a bad night for Argentinian side Boca Juniors after their extra-time defeat. They were looking to win their seventh Copa Libertadores title which would have seen them become joint record holders with Independiente but they ended up losing their third continental final in a row having previously lost in 2012, 2018 and now this year. Although they battled hard some of their top players such as the veteran Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani or the new star of Argentinian football Valentín Barco failed to turn up. This expression ‘fail to turn up’ means that these players (or sometimes the whole team) just did not play as well as they should have done.

The Ugly

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The game was played on edge throughout with lots of heavy tackles and gamesmanship such as diving and time wasting but it exploded in extra time when first the match winner John Kennedy was stupidly sent off for a second yellow card after celebrating with the fans. But then Boca failed to take advantage of having an extra player because one of their players Colombian defender Fabra slapped the Fluminense captain after a melee and was shown a direct red. This act of stupidity meant that Fluminense were able to hold out for the victory.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Spanish)



Football Language Glossary



DF: OK, if you have any questions or comments about that short report on the final then drop us an email at and you can also look out for us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; so 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 and where you can also make your predictions – that’s where you can find them. Take a look at these posts there, do some of the quizzes, add a comment or a question or simply say hi!

Stinger: You are listening to (in Italian).


DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was in Italian fan. Don’t forget there’s a transcript for this short podcast with lots and lots of vocabulary support. If you look at the posts on our site you can see that we explain the meanings of these words in the transcript, so just come along and have a look!

OK, that’s it for this week’s podcast. Let us know if you hear any of the phrases that we’ve used on today’s show in any language of course. And congratulations again to Brazilian side Fluminense for winning their first ever Copa Libertadores title. Enjoy all the football this weekend and we’ll see you again soon when we’ll be looking at some more football language. Bye bye!

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Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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