Weekly Football Phrase: (to) Lay the Ball Off

Lay the ball offThere are many ways to describe passing the ball in football. It is, of course, one of the most important actions in the game. This week we look at one of these ways – ‘to lay the ball off’.
  • Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below and listening to the audio.
  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.
  • This post also features in our podcast show, along with a main report and our weekly predictions.

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Lay the ball off

When a player lays the ball off, they receive the ball and pass it into space for another player. It is usually done with the receiving player’s back to goal and the pass is directed towards a player running towards them. The pass can either be a one-touch pass, or a quick pass after controlling the ball. Less commonly, you can say lay off the ball or lay off a pass.

  • Example: Philippe Coutinho laid the ball off to Suso, who curled the ball low and into the corner.
  • Example:  Sanchez charged at the Australian defence and laid off a pass for Valdivia, who slotted the ball into the roof of goal.
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