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Footballin’ Talk

By Christopher Kyak

Tuning in for a World Cup game this year can be a little disorienting.  If you’re able to get past the the fact that you feel to hear the broadcasters over the beehive Vuvuzelas you might be left thinking, ‘What the hell are those accented announcers talking about?’.

Soccer is a sport with its own language not just for on the field activities but for the whole shebang.  On the field language like positions and rules can be Googled.  What I’m interested in is the street talk terminology that creates the atmosphere at the World Cup and other soccer matches.

(Also this list will help with The Official Unqualified Economists World Cup Drinking Game, to come, tomorrow).

Non-Soccer World Cup Terminology List:

Firm- supporter’s group, also called Ultra’s=think the Chicago Super Fans but rowdier and more willing to travel large distances.

Hooligan–  a term for the members or non members of Firms who enjoy a bit of violence before, during and after a match.

WAGs– Wives and Girlfriends, made famous at the 2006 World Cup in Germany by the English squad, the WAGs were allowed to run rampant in the towns racking up large tabs at salons, spas, bars, and of course shoe stores. Although the English “invented” the WAG culture, the Germans perfected it being more than half of the Team Germany WAGs are supermodels.

Group of Death– Given to the opening round group that has the highest ranked 4 teams in it, this year that goes to Group G. Teams in this group include, rankings in parenthesis, Brazil (1), Ivory Coast (27), Portugal (3), and North Korea (105).

Chants- Supporters are known for their chants at games, ranging from full songs, such as “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” to one liners to zing opponents or refs, “Who ate all the pies” typically for a player who is a little overweight. Some get intense, while others stay funny and light.

Derby-A match played between two known rivals, either from geography, USA v Mexico, or historically, such as USA v England, although this term is more commonly used for matches played in domestic leagues

Cap– also called International Cap, refers to appearances for ones country, dates back to the time when players wore caps when playing for country

Kit– refers to uniforms, also could be called Strip

Diver– a player who will embellish getting touched and fall and roll around to get a penalty called, see Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal

Golden Goal– is a now defunt way to end the game when it heads into extra time. It was whoever scored first won, now they play two 15:00 periods at the end of the game is it is tied


One Response

  1. WAG made me think of Real Housewives

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