2018 World Cup: Words You Need to Know by Yasmin Benn

Right now, we’re in the thick of the World Cup craze. You’ve probably seen (and heard) people celebrating in pubs, homes, bars – pretty much anywhere that has a TV screen to gather around. It’s here where they pray, with their fellow supporters, that THIS year will be their year to take the cup home.

Sport, particularly football, has an extraordinary power to bring people together. It has the power to bring even the toughest men to their knees when their country gets a win. It gives people a moment of escapism, to forget about their troubles, about political conflicts dividing nations and to be united together in that moment, focusing on one thing: the game.   

But with this special event, comes very special vocabulary. Here, I’ve listed a few of the key phrases you should know when you’re watching the World Cup this year. 

  • Underdog – a competitor who’s thought to have little or no chance of winning.
    • “Tunisia goes into the game against England as the underdog.”
  • It’s anyone’s game – a game that anyone could potentially win because neither team or competitor has an advantage. They are equal footing. 
    • “Spain play Germany tonight. It’s anyone’s game.”
  • Make the cut – to be selected to go through to the next round of competition, thus avoiding elimination. 
    • “Hungary didn’t make the cut this year.” (meaning they didn’t qualify to play in the World Cup)
  • Back of the net – often shouted, with joy, when your team scores a goal.
    • “Ronaldo hits the back of the net!” 
  • Sore loser – someone who is easily angered by losing a game and complains or blames others for their loss
    • “Joe is such a sore loser. He plays the referee for losing.”

Now that you’re clued up on some of the most popular football phrases, get out there and support your team in the World Cup. Let us know who you’re supporting. And, remember, nobody likes a sore loser. 

Check out the official World Cup song to get you in the mood.