wideWhat is the meaning of the phrase ‘wide’ in football?

  • Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below.
  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

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Wide 

This week’s football phrase is a word often used to describe a shot missing the goal. If a team misses a shot on goal, the ball often goes past one of the posts or goes over the bar. If the shot or header misses a post, we can say that it goes wide, it misses the goal. We can also combine ‘wide‘ with the adverbs ‘narrowly‘ and ‘well‘. If the shot just missed and the goalkeeper was worried, it went narrowly wide. On the other hand, if it missed by a long way, we can describe the shot as going well wide, the keeper was not troubled. There is another way we can use the word wide and that is to describe a part of or position on the pitch. A wide player is a winger, a player who plays most of the game next to the touchline, to the side of the pitch. If a team attacks down the wide areas, they use the flanks, the sides of the pitch to attack.

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  • Example: It felt only a matter of time before Suarez completed his hat-trick as he saw a curling free-kick drift narrowly wide and a goal-bound shot blocked brilliantly by Olsson. (BBC Report)
  • Example: (Both) sides struggled to break each other down, with Shawcross diverting the ball well wide with his knee when a corner found him five yards from goal. (BBC Report)
  • Example: “I believe Chamberlain can play out wide or centrally. Certainly in a few years he will be a central midfielder.” (BBC Report)

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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.

Football GlossaryEpisode 623