Learn English Through Football Podcast: Finalissima – Argentina vs Italy

In this latest football language podcast for learners of English, we look at some of the words and phrases from the recent Finalissima game between South American champions Argentina and European champions Italy at Wembley and in particular we look at the phrases ‘pull the strings‘; ‘turn provider‘ and ‘round off the win‘. You can also 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 admin@languagecaster.com.

Learn English Through Football Podcast: Finalissima – Argentina vs Italy

DF: Hello again everyone and welcome to Languagecaster.com – the football-language podcast for learners of English who love the beautiful game of football. I’m Damian and I’m here in a very sunny London and I’m one half of the languagecaster team, the other member of course is Damon who’s based in Tokyo, in Japan.

Now, I was lucky enough to get a ticket to see the Argentina versus Italy Finalissima match at Wembley last night – this was the first time I have been to a live football match since March 2020 so it was great to be back at a game and of course to see Leo Messi in action. Now, he really didn’t disappoint as he dominated the game by sitting a little deeper in midfield and pulling the strings throughout the match to guide his side to a comfortable 3-0 victory over the Azzurri. So, on this podcast we look at some of the words and phrases from this game from a report from the BBC website including, ‘turned provider‘; ‘set up the opener‘ and ‘round off the win‘.

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


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Argentina beat Italy at Wembley in the Finalissima – a renewal of the contest between the champions of Europe and South America (BBC.co.uk, June 1 2022)
This is the opening line from the BBC report which is a brief explanation of what the Finalissima is – a game between the champions of Europe (Italy) and the Copa America winners, Argentina; and the word Finalissima comes from Italian and means the grand final. The report also uses the word contest which is a way of saying a match or competition between two sides – they contested the game or they contested the title, while we could also use the word battle here. They also included the word renewal to describe the fact that this game – organised by UEFA and CONMEBOL – had been played before on two previous occasions.

Set up the opener/Turn provider

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Messi’s run and cross set up the opener for Lautaro Martínez, who then turned provider for Di Maria to chip a second. (BBC.co.uk, June 1 2022)
Argentina scored twice in the first half with the first goal coming in the 28th minute when Messi went past the Italian defender before passing the ball across the six-yard box to his team mate Lautaro Martínez who easily tapped the ball home. As this was the first goal of the game, we can call this the opening goal; the opener. If a player sets up a team mate it means that they have created a chance for them to score and of course if they do score then it is known as an assist. The second goal was scored by Ángel Di María who was set up by the first goalscorer Martinez with a beautiful inch-perfect pass; we can say that he provided the assist so he was the provider of the pass. If a player turns provider it means they first did one job and then later on did another and so in this case Martínez scored the opener before assisting Di María for the second goal.

Round off a win

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Substitute Paulo Dybala rounded off a handsome win in injury time. (BBC.co.uk, June 1 2022)
We have already mentioned that the Argeninian win was a comfortable one and when their substitute Dybala scored a third goal in injury or added time it completed the victory. The report includes the adjective ‘handsome‘ to describe the win – a handsome win is a very good or comfortable win and this was a very easy victory for the Argentinians indeed.

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Now, if you want to ask any football-language questions or simply say hi then you can do so by adding a comment on our site here, or by using our forum – we have had some great questions recently on phrases such as ‘take the ball down on their chest‘ and ‘at the races‘ . You can also send an email to us at admin@languagecaster.com and you can also look out for us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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


DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was in Japanese and we’d love to hear from anyone else who might like to share this message, ‘you are listening to Languagecaster.com‘ – we are trying to see if we can get all 32 of the competing nations at the World Cup so come on Argentinian fans – we’d love to hear from you! And don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast and lots of vocabulary support which you can access by coming along to our site here at languagecaster – a great resource for those learning and teaching the language.

OK, that’s it for this short football-language podcast in which we looked back at some of the language from the Finalissima game between Argentina and Italy, including ‘turned provider‘; ‘set up the opener‘ and ‘round off the win‘. We’ll be back soon with more football language so until then enjoy all the football. Bye bye.

Related Vocabulary

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

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