Football Vocabulary

photo credits: For Sport Fans
While addressing the topic sports, some students asked me to dig a little deeper into the semantic area of football. As it is the national sport in England, where the first modern set of rules for the code were established in 1863, which were a major influence on the development of the modern Laws of the Game. With over 40,000 association football clubs, England has more clubs involved in the code than any other country. England is home to, amongst others, the world's oldest association football club (Sheffield F.C.), the oldest national governing body (The Football Association), the first national team, the oldest national knockout competition (the FA Cup) and the oldest national league (The Football League). Today England's top domestic league, the Premier League, is one of the most popular and richest sports leagues in the world, and is home to some of the world's most famous football clubs. The modern global game of association football was first codified in 1863 in London, but football was played in England as far back as medieval times. The first written evidence of a football match came in about 1170.
So, let's have a close look at some specific 'football vocabulary'! Bear in mind this is only a short list, if you want to know more, you can check, for example, The Football Vocabulary Phrasebook, available for free download.

Attack: to make a forceful attempt to score a goal
Attacker: a player that has possession of the ball
Away game: a game played at the opponent's ground
Away team: the team that is visiting the opponent's ground
Ball: the hollow sphere that players kick in soccer
Beat: to defeat
Captain: the player who leads and directs the other players on the field
Champions: a team that has beaten all other teams in a sporting contest
Championship: a sporting contest for the position of champion
Changing rooms: the rooms where players dress to play
Cheer: to shout in encouragement and give support
Coach: a person who trains a team
Corner kick: a restart of the game where the ball is kicked from one of the four corners of the field
Defend: to resist an attack
Defenders: the players that do not have possession of the ball
Draw: a game that ends with both teams having the same number of goals
Extra time: a further period of play added on to the game if the scores are equal
Field: the rectangular, grass area where a game is played
Field markings: the straight and curved white lines painted onto the field
FIFA: Federation Internationale de Football Association; the official body of international football
FIFA World Cup: a solid gold statue given to the champion of each World Cup tournament to keep for the next 4 years
First half: the first 45 minutes of the game, before half-time
Fit: in form, in good health
Fixture: a game played on a particular date
Fixture list: a programme of games
Forward: one of the three or four players on a team who play at the front and are responsible for most of the scoring
Foul: an unfair or invalid piece of play, against the rules
Free kick: a kick given to a player for a foul by the opposition; the player kicks the ball without any opposing players within ten feet of him
Friendly game: a game that is not part of a serious contest
Goal: a ball that crosses the goal line between the goalposts and below the crossbar, winning one point.
Goal area: the rectangular area 20 yards wide by 6 yardsdeep in front of each goal
Goal kick: a way of restarting the game where the ball is kicked from inside the goal area away from the goal
Goal line: the boundary or line at each end of the field
Goalkeeper: the player in front of the goal who tries to stop the other team scoring
Goal scorer: a player who puts the ball into the goal and so "scores a goal"
Half-time: the 15-minute rest period between the first half and second half
Hooligan: a violent troublemaker
Injury: a wound suffered by a player (for example: broken leg, sprained ankle)
Injury time: time added to the end of the first or second half to compensate for time lost because of player injuries
Kick: to strike or hit with the foot (also a noun)
Kick-off: the start of a game, or restart after a goal, when a player kicks the ball forwards
Linesman: the 2 officials who help the referee; they watch the sidelines and goal lines
Match: a game of football
Midfield player: the players that play behind the forwards
National team:  the team representing a particular country or nation
Opposing team: a team playing against another team
Pass: when a player kicks the ball to a teammate
Penalty area: a rectangular area in front of the goal, 44 yardswide by 18 yardsdeep
Penalty kick, penalty shot: a kick from the penalty spot by a player against the opposing goal keeper, awarded for the most serious violations of the rules or used in the event of a draw
Possession: control of the ball
Red card: a small card, red in colour, that the referee holds up to show that a player must leave the game for very bad behaviour
Score (verb): to put the ball into the goal and gain a point
Score (noun): the amount of goals for each team
Scorer: a player who scores or gets a goal
Scoreboard: a large panel or other display that shows the current score or number of goals for each side
Second half: the second 45 minutes of the game, after half-time
Send a player off: when the referee tells a player to leave the field for bad behaviour
Side: one of the two teams playing a game
Sideline: the line that runs along the length of the field on each side
Spectator: a person who watches a game (or other performance)
Stadium: a special sports ground with seats for spectators where football (or another game) is played
Substitute: a player who replaces another player on the field
Supporter: a spectator who supports one of the teams and wants it to win
Tackle: to try to take the ball away from another player by kicking or stopping it with the feet
Team: the members of one side
Tie: when two teams have scored the same number of goals in a game; a draw
Tiebreaker: a way of choosing the winner of a game when both teams have the same number of goals, for example by a series of penalty kicks
Underdog: a team that is not expected to win
Unsporting: behaviour rude or bad conduct
Whistle: the instrument that the referee blows to create a loud, high-pitched sound
Winger: a forward who plays to the side of the striker or strikers
World Cup: the international soccer competition between nations, organized by FIFA every 4 years
Yellow card: a small card, yellow in colour, that the referee holds up to warn a player for bad behaviour

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