Learn English Through Football Podcast: Dortmund

DortmundThis week saw Champions League and Europa League quarter-final first legs, but these were overshadowed by the attack on the Dortmund team bus. This news will feature on our review section this week. We also have predictions, with games involving Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham, your posts, football language from the week and of course you can read the transcript for the show in our post below (Damian = DF, Damon = DB).

Learn English Through Football Podcast: Dortmund

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Transcript of the show

DB: You’re listening to Languagecaster’s football-language podcast. Hello everyone, my name is Damon and I am here in a lovely sunny Tokyo hoping to talk to Damian down the line in London. Damian, how are you doing? You must be happy with your team, Tottenham, still pushing Chelsea for the title!

DF: Hello Damon, good to hear from you – it’s a little chilly here in London but at least it’s not raining! It’s been another busy week of football with Champions League quarter-finals taking place. Did you manage to see any?

DB: None! I need to work on my satellite subscription! Maybe when Liverpool get back in the Champions League next season? You?

DF: I saw the Dortmund-Monaco game which was high on emotion indeed. By the way, as for Spurs, yes, we are doing well but I am still a little nervous of today’s game against Bournemouth.

Line up

DF: Now, what else Damon do we have on today’s show?

DB: As you’ve already mentioned, we’ve had an eventful week of football in Europe, overshadowed by the attack on the Dortmund bus, more on that in our review section – the good, the bad, and the ugly. After that we have two football phrases for you ‘to sky the ball over the bar‘ and a ‘sweet left foot‘.

DF: And after all of that, we’ll finish up with our predictions and we’re going to look at three of the big games in the Premier League. We’re well and truly in the business end of the season!

DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com and that was in Polish. We’d love to have some more voices and languages in our collection: you can record the message “You are listening to languagecaster” in your language, or “Hi I’m a fan of (whatever your team is), and you’re listening to languagecaster.com’ – this message in English! Just send it on to admin@languagecaster.com.

DF: Right Damon, let’s start the good, the bad and the ugly; what was good this week?


DB: Well the big news this week was the attack on the Dortmund team bus ahead of the quarter-final fixture against Monaco and the cancellation of the game. Some good did come out of this terrible event, though. Football showed its good side, as Dortmund citizens volunteered to allow Monaco fans to stay overnight in their houses. A wonderful, warm gesture. Brilliant from the city of Dortmund and the individuals who opened their doors to help their French counterparts!


DF: Yes. A great gesture from those football fans – football truly can be the beautiful game. But the way in which the game was hurriedly re-scheduled for an early evening kick off the next day was pretty bad. Although Dortmund could have asked for a longer delay and there is no direct evidence that UEFA forced the club to play the re-scheduled game so soon after the attack, it does show, perhaps, that clubs, officials, and executives are more interested in TV money, sponsorship, and keeping to the calendar than they are in how the players might have felt. It must have been difficult for the Dortmund players to fully concentrate on the game – a bad decision to let it go ahead so soon!

What about ugly?


DB:  Of course the attack on the bus, three explosions, was ugly, and it really is lucky that Marc Bartra’s injuries were relatively light, but I’d also like to mention the assault of a footballer in a bar in England last week. Ross Barkley of Everton was talking to another customer in a bar in Liverpool, when he was suddenly punched by the man and knocked to the ground. A vicious attack on a footballer having a relaxing night out. Very ugly indeed.

Follow us

DF: Now, remember that you can follow us on twitter where our handle is @languagecaster, and you can find us on Facebook: Learning English Through Football, and we’d like to say hi to all those who have followed or liked us recently, including Will and Steve who both commented on a question I asked on Facebook about football language connected to money. This was after last week’s interview with Marie O’Sullivan who spoke about the football cliche ‘turn on a sixpence‘ – which is now up on our site. Will used the phrase ‘change’ as in ‘but there’s no change from Daniel Pudil,’ when an opposition player tried to draw the defender into a foul.

DB: Yes, you do hear that phrase sometimes, don’t you – the player gives you nothing. And the other ones?

DF: The other ones were from Steve who says that ‘reward’ is used a lot in football and then mentioned the phrase ‘purchase’ as in ‘…it’s gone over the bar…. far too much purchase’ which means that the player hit the ball with too much power.

DB: I’m not too sure about that last one, as the verb is connected to money, but this use is as a noun – but thanks to both Will and Steve for their ideas. We also have, everybody, an Instagram page – where we have recently posted pictures from both Tokyo  and London. And, remember, of course you can also contact us directly at admin@languagecaster.com with any questions about football. We’d love to hear from you and hear what you think of the show!

DB: Now Damian, what football language have you come across this week, what’s our first football-language phrase this week?

Football Language: To sky the ball (over the bar)

DF: Well, this is related to what Steve mentioned earlier about too much purchase on the ball because I am going to talk about the phrase ‘to sky the ball over the bar‘. When players shoot at goal they must control their shot in order for the ball to stay low. However, when a player wants to add more power to the shot they may lose some control meaning that the ball may go too high. To sky the ball means a player has hit the ball too hard and it has gone over the bar – not just over the bar but a long way over the bar. The player has skied his or her shot. This sometimes happens with penalties when a player wants to use power rather than placement and can result in the ball being skied over the bar. So, for example: Vidal skied the penalty over the bar in the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid leaving the game at 1-0.

DF: What other football language have you come across this week Damon?

Football Language: Sweet left foot

DB: Well, this is also from this week’s Champions League quarter-finals – the phrase is sweet left foot. The expression a sweet strike is used in football to describe a really well-struck shot. The adjective ‘sweet’ refers to something that is perfect or good. So, for example: Juventus striker Dybala’s sweet left foot ensured a 3-0 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-final first leg. We can also use sweet in the phrase sweet spot, which means the perfect place, and in football if you hit the ball’s sweet spot, you hit the ball well, it’s a sweet strike.

DF: Yes, Damon, can we say ‘a sweet right foot’?

DB: Well, I’ve never heard that expression. I suppose you could say it, but with most people being right-footed it seems a bit strange.

Quiz question

DB: OK, now it’s time for our weekly quiz question and this week’s quiz question is pretty tricky. We’d like to know what the following players have in common: Gareth Bale, Roberto Carlos, Lionel Messi and Ferenc Puskás. Answers at the end of the show.


DF: That’s a tricky one. Right, it’s time for our weekly predictions competition. So, the overall scores for the season are: I’m on 215 points and Damon, you’re on 183,

DB: … catching up…

DF: while… you are catching me up…while for the current month we have a new leader.

DB: Yes, Alexrr is on 19 followed by myself on 15 and you Damian on 9. Now, remember …

DF: Ouch

DB: … you can join our predictions and play in our monthly league by coming along to the site, languagecaster.com, and at the top of the page you can see predictions competition – click, sign up or login for free and enter your predictions.

Tottenham vs Bournemouth

DF: Right, Damon we have three games as usual and we’re going to start with my team Tottenham versus Bournemouth. I’m a little nervous about this one as Bournemouth – The Cherries – have been playing well.

DB: Damian, there’s no way you’ll lose this game at fortress White Hart Lane. 3-0 to Tottenham.

DF: Oh, 1-0 to Spurs.

WBA vs Liverpool

DB: Now, we’ve had a look at a game featuring your team, now it’s my turn, with Liverpool, the team I support, travelling to West Bromich Albion. This Tony Pulis team is exactly the kind of team the Reds have struggled against – tall and good at set pieces, but I’ve got to believe. 0-1 to Liverpool. Damian?

DF: Oh, I reckon Liverpool will be too strong for West Brom – 3-1 for me.

DB: Hope so.

Man United vs Chelsea

DF: Now, the last game is Man united versus Chelsea and I was talking to my Man United-supporting brother Brendan and he felt this might end in a draw and I think he may be right. 1-1, how about you?

DB: Draw. I’d have also gone for 1-1 too, but since you’ve got that one, I’ll go for 2-2.

DB: Now, if anyone would like to come on the show to talk about some football language or take part in our predictions then drop us a line at admin@languagecaster.com.

Quiz Answer

DB: And before we go, let’s revisit the quiz question we asked earlier. What have the following players got in common – Puskás, Roberto Carlos, Bale and Messi? Damian?

DF: Well, Damon, these players all had or have a sweet left foot. They are all left-footed players.

DB: And well done if you managed to get that right and of course we’ll have another quiz question next week.

Good bye

DB: Time to say goodbye now, enjoy all the football this week, including the European action! Ta-rah!

DF: See you next week.

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here
If you have any suggestions, contact us at admin@languagecaster.com

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

I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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