Learning English Through Football Podcast: Ronaldo’s Late Goals

In this football language post we look at some of the language used to describe some of Ronaldo’s recent late goals for Manchester United in the Champions League. We’ll be looking at many phrases including, ‘trademark header‘; ‘volleyed in‘; ‘breathless‘ and ‘bundle home‘. There is a transcript with this listening activity along with some vocabulary practice and you can also check out our football glossary and football cliches pages for hundreds more explanations of the language of soccer. If you have questions or comments about this or any other phrase then email us at: admin@languagecaster.com.

Learning English Through Football Podcast: Ronaldo’s Late Goals

DF: Hello everyone, this is Damian from the Learning English Through Football team. I hope we are all doing well and enjoying the football. How did your favourite team get on this week? Did you watch any of the European matches that took place this week? Congratulations on the four teams who qualified for the Champions League knock-out stages: Ajax, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Liverpool – no doubt Damon will be happy! My team Tottenham are involved in the Europa Conference League – that’s the third tier of European football – and we defeated Dutch side Vitesse 3-2 in a rollercoaster of a game – so it’s going up and down. Some moments it was great; others it wasn’t so good. But of course that wasn’t the big news coming out of Tottenham this week because we now have a new manager as former Inter and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has joined the club after Nuno was fired or sacked last weekend. A week in football is a long time indeed.

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

Now, one of the big games in Europe this week was the Champions League qualifier between Atalanta and Manchester United which ended in a 2-2 draw thanks to Man United’s Cristiano Ronaldo who scored an equaliser in the 91st minute. And as this was not the first time the Portuguese superstar has done this in the Champions League this season we thought we’d look at how some of the UK press described some of these late Ronaldo goals.

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

Now, don’t forget there is of course a transcript to go with this podcast – it’s great for teaching and learning English – and if you have any questions or comments about any of the football language in this report then you can contact us here at: admin@languagecaster.com. OK, let’s look at some of the language used to describe these late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Manchester United 2-1 Villareal (Ronaldo 95th minute)

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What a finish, and guess who: Cristiano Ronaldo bundled home a breathless 95th-minute winner and maybe jump-started Manchester United’s season.
This is how the Guardian newspaper reported on the late winner from Ronaldo against Spanish side Villareal in their Champions League Group H match. Now, despite having more chances and taking the lead, Villareal will be disappointed that they left Old Trafford with nothing after that late goal. The report states that Ronaldo bundled home the winner which suggests that it was not a clean hit but instead that he forced it across the line – there were lots of bodies (or players) in the way. The reporter goes on to write that the winner was breathless which is a way of saying that it was an exciting or thrilling end to the game – the excitement took our breaths away. Interestingly, the report also asks whether this goal and this win could jump-start (or kick start) Man United’s season, that is, that maybe they could use this victory as a way of winning more games after this and becoming more consistent in their challenge to win trophies. But as we are going to see, the  win did not kick-start United’s season at all.

Manchester United 3-2 Atalanta (Ronaldo 81st minute)

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Three weeks later Ronaldo did it again as he scored a dramatic winner in the 81st minute to complete a remarkable turnaround as United came from two goals down to defeat Italian side Atalanta. Here’s what the BBC said about the late comeback win:

[Ronaldo won the game again…] This time it was with one of his trademark headers as he rose to meet Luke Shaw’s cross and find the bottom corner to send United to the top of Group F.
Ronaldo’s winning header was described as ‘trademark‘ which suggests that he scores lots of similar-style goals – he is well known for these kind of headed goals. He jumped higher than the defence (so we can say he rose) to score from Luke Shaw’s cross – he met the cross means he headed it cleanly – and the header was directed down into the oppposite (or far) corner; we could also say that he planted the header into the far corner. The final section of the phrase explains the result of this header – United moved into first place in their group by leapfrogging the Italian side – they jumped over them into first place or top spot in the group.

Atalanta 2-2 Manchester United (Ronaldo 91st minute)

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In the fourth game in the group, the Red Devils were struggling to overcome Atalanta side again in the Champions League when Ronaldo rescued them again with a late winner. Here’s what the BBC said about the goal:

The 36-year-old, who also levelled in first-half added time, volleyed in from outside the box in added time for his second of the night to earn United a crucial point in Bergamo.
So, Ronaldo (the 36-year old) scored a goal at the end of the first half to equalise (to level) for the first time and then scored another equaliser with a volleyed shot from outside the penalty area in stoppage or added time (added time). Now a volleyed shot means that he hits the ball while the ball was in the air. Now, Ronaldo’s goals won three points for United in the first two examples but in this one his goal earned a point for his side – a crucial point so a really imortant point. And that’s seven points from three games that have come from Ronaldo’s late goals in the Champions League.

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

DF: Yes, that message is in Greek and if you’d like to send a message in any language for our podcast then contact us here at languagecaster.com – we’d love to hear from you.

OK, that’s it for this short podcast in which we’ve looked at some language connected to Ronaldo’s late goals in the Champions League including, ‘trademark header‘; ‘volleyed in‘; ‘breathless‘ and ‘bundle home‘. Let us know if you know any other words to describe Ronaldo’s Champions League goals – in any language – by adding a comment below our post or by dropping us a line at: admin@languagecaster.com.

Don’t forget that you can also come along to our forum where you can ask or answer any questions you have on football language. Now, recently we have looked at the phrases, ‘dirty win‘ and ‘get the ball out of his feet‘. So, come along and participate in our football language community on the forum.

And don’t forget there is also a transcript for this report and of course we have a huge glossary of football language here at languagecaster.com – hundreds and hundreds of entries, including many of the words and phrases from today’s show. OK, myself and Damon, who is of course watching all of his football in Tokyo, will be back soon with some more football language. Enjoy all the football this week and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye.

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
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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

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