Football terms from A – Z
We recently asked a number of people around our office area about football terms and we came to a realization that both football and non-football fans are not very familiar with football jargon or terms used. We found that people are more interested in only watching the game rather than understanding the do’s and don’ts in football. (I’m guilty of it too.. shh!)
Here’s a list of football terms from A – Z that is frequently used and could be useful for you in the future:
Attacker: A player that plays the ball forward towards the opponent’s goal area to score
Bicycle Kick: An almost acrobatic-looking move that is used when a player jumps in the air in backflip motion and then kicks the ball backwards.
Cross: A pass played across the face of a goal.
Dissent: When a player disagrees by word or action with a decision made by the referee. A yellow card is often handed as punishment.
Extra time: Additional time after 90 minutes used to determine the winner in tied matches. Normally two halves of 15 minutes.
FIFA: Federational Internationale de Football Association
Ghost goal: Also known as phantom goal – is when a goal is incorrectly awarded to a team. Either a ball crossed the goal line but did not result in a goal, or a goal was awarded despite the ball not crossing the line.
Hooligans: Supporters who are overly fanatical and known for their violence.
Inswinger: A kick that curves in towards the goal.
Journeyman: A player who has represented various clubs during the span of their career.
Kick-off: It is when the ball is placed in the center spot at the start of each half of the game and used to restart a match when a goal has been scored.
Libero: A defender or midfielder who plays in front of the defence.
Midfielder: The players who are responsible for linking play between attackers and defenders.
Nutmeg: Also known as tunnel, nut, megs, panna, brooksy – is a skill used when a player intentionally kicks the ball between an opponent’s legs and then gets back collects their own pass again.
Offside: A player is offside when they are in their opponent’s half of the field and is closer to the goal line than the second-last defender and the ball is played to them by a team member.
Penalty kick: A player is awarded a penalty kick when a foul has been committed inside the penalty area in front of the goal.
Que?: Usually spoken by a Spanish player when they don’t understand what is going on in the game. ‘What?’ is the translation in English.
Red card: A red card is given to a player for serious offence or if the player has been issued with two yellow cards in the same game. Once awarded, the player must leave the pitch.
Striker: The attacking player who plays to score a goal. Also known as a forward.
Toe Poke: When a player uses their toes to kick the ball.
Underdog: The team that is not expected to win.
Volley: Pass or shoot the ball in mid-air.
Winger: The player who attacks on the wings/flanks of the field.
X-rated challenge: A malicious tackle when a player has motives to injure an opponent.
Yellow card: Given to a player by the referee to signal an offence.
Zone defense: A defensive marking system where defenders mark a designated area of the field.
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