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Learning English Through Football Podcast: Euro 2020 Last 16 Day 4 – Talisman

In this football language podcast we look at the phrases ‘talisman‘ and ‘steer‘ which came from the BBC report on the 2020 European Championship last-16 match between England and Germany. 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

Learning English Through Football Podcast: Euro 2020 Last 16 Day 4 – Talisman

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the team – I hope you are all doing well. As you know, we are posting a football expression from the Euro 2020 tournament every day. Damon looked at some of the words and phrases from the third day of last-16 matches yesterday when talking about the phrase ‘goalfest’ and today I’m going to look at some of the words from the England versus Germany match: talisman and to steer.

Stinger: You are listening to (in German).

it was their talisman of this tournament, Raheem Sterling, who made the decisive breakthrough. ( June 29 2021)
This is how the BBC report from June 29th described Raheem Sterling after scoring yet another important goal. A talisman is someone who brings good luck to you so in this case we can say that Sterling is England’s good luck charm. We can say that he has been talismanic for England. The report goes on to mention that Sterling made the ‘decisive breakthrough‘ which means he scored the first, and the most important, goal of the game.

[Sterling] steered in Luke Shaw’s cross after 75 minutes ( June 29 2021)
In describing this goal, the writer has used the verb to steer in which he means that Sterling guided or directed the ball into the net. A similar phrase might be to slot home which suggests accuracy rather than power.

It was Müller who … strode through late on with the score 1-0 only for [him]… to almost unbelievably steer a low finish inches wide. ( June 29 2021)
So, the verb ‘steer‘ was also used to describe another important moment in the match when German attacker Thomas Müller broke through the England defence running on to a through pass before hitting the ball wide – he steered it wide. Again, the idea is that the player attempts to use accuracy over power as they deliberately aim for a specific place. Unfortunately for the German player he steered his shot just wide (inches wide) of the far post.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Italian).

Good Bye

DF: Yes, you are listening to – that message was in Italian. 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 – we hope you enjoyed our look at the phrases ‘talisman‘ and ‘steer a shot wide‘ from the 2020 Euros match between England and Germany – and we’ll be back with more soon. 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 Enjoy all the football and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye.

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