Learning English Through Football Podcast Euro 2020: Day 12 – Outside of the boot

In this football language podcast we look at the phrase ‘outside of the boot‘ after Croatian captain Luka Modric’s goal against Scotland. You can read a 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.

Learning English Through Football Podcast Euro 2020: Day 12 – Outside of the boot

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team – I hope you are all doing well. Apologies for the slight delay in this post but I am looking back at some of the language from day 12 of the 2020 Euros – remember we are posting a football expression from the tournament every day – and today I am looking at a phrase that was used to describe Croatian captain Luka Modric’s goal. Outside of the boot.

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

…with the Real Madrid midfielder using the outside of his boot to bend a shot into Marshall’s top right-hand corner from 20 yards. (Guardian.co.uk June 22 2021)
This is how the Guardian newspaper reported on Croatia’s second goal against Scotland.

So, Croatian captain Luka Modric scored his side’s second goal in their 3-1 win over Scotland with a wonderful strike from outside the penalty area. Modric hit the ball first time with the outside of his boot which then curled into the top-right corner of the goal (top bins maybe?) making it almost impossible for the keeper to save it. Modric is well known for using the outside of the boot or outside of the foot when passing or shooting and it demonstrates the complete control that the Croatian star has over the ball. Normally players use the instep or the inside of the foot when passing or shooting as it tends to give them more control but using the outside of the foot can give some advantages. For example, the direction of the ball moves slightly differently so defenders, or in this case keepers, may not be ready for a pass or shot. Of course there are some disadvantages when using this technique of striking the ball as the player does not always have control over the ball as they are much more used to playing it with the side or the instep of the foot which can then result in a misplaced pass. Players may also prefer to use their stronger foot – the one they feel most comfortable with when passing or shooting – and so use the outside of their foot to do this, which means sometimes they are predictable – we know which foot they are going to use.

So, when using the outside of the boot for a shot the player has to be extremely confident to take it on. Former Portuguese international Quaresma was famous for his ‘trivela‘ a shot in which he used the outside of his boot to bend the ball into the goal – he did so in the 2018 World Cup game against Iran – the goalkeeper had no chance as the ball curled into the top corner; something which Modric did yesterday in the game against Scotland.

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

Good Bye

DF: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster.com – that message was in Dutch. Don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast and lots of vocab support which you can access by coming along to our site. OK, that’s it for this short podcast – again, apologies for the delay. We hope you enjoyed our look at the phrase ‘outside of the boot‘ from the 2020 Euros and we’ll be back with more tomorrow. Don’t forget you can also come and play in our predictions competition, vote in our Euro 2020 poll and find lots of football language on our site here at languagecaster.com. Enjoy all the football and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye.

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

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2 comments
  • What does “let off” mean?

    England 1-0 Germany
    81min: HUGE LET-OFF! Sterling gives the ball away, and it allows Havertz to thread a through ball to play in Thomas Muller. He only has Pickford to beat but somehow from the edge of the box, he drags wide.

    • A let off is used to describe a situation when a player or team has made a mistake (maybe a bad pass) but the other side (the opponents) fail to punish them – they haven’t taken advantage of this mistake. A ‘huge let off’ here refers to the fact that the German player failed to take advantage of the mistake from Sterling.

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