Challenge 10: Spanish Football Vocabulary

It’s no secret that the Spanish speaking countries of the world love football. With just over a week to go before the Euro 2012 tournament gets going, people in Spain are turning their attention from this year’s battle between Barcelona and Real Madrid, to the national team. People will gather at someone’s house or in a bar ready to do some shouting at the screen. A great time to talk in Spanish. But what should I be shouting as the goals go flying in?

Football vocab is a bit of a specialised area, but when you see opportunities coming for Spanish interaction you need to be prepared to take advantage of them. Let’s see how the Spanish talk about football.

el fútbol – football
el partido – the match
el campo – the pitch or the stadium itself
la pelota – the ball
el arbitro – the referee
Tarjeta amarilla – yellow card
Tarjeta roja – red card
expulsado – sent off
los equipos – the teams
los jugadores – the players
la portería – the goal (the 3 posts)
un gol – a goal (that you score)
marcar un gol – to score a goal
el portero – the goal keeper
los delanteros / los atacantes – the forwards
los centrocampistas / los mediocampistas – mid-fielders
los defensivos – defenders
un córner – a corner
sacar un córner – to take a corner
un saque de banda – a throw in
una falta – a foul

Now that we have the basic terms at our disposal, let´s see how Spanish people use them in reality. Here are some examples from Twitter and the newspapers.

¿Fue corner? No puedo afirmarlo. A primera vista me pareció que era saque de arco.
Os dejo los 44 goles de Raúl con la selección.El gol 18 a Alemania,es de lo mejor que he visto en mi vida.Sin palabras.
El delantero asturiano no se ha recuperado a tiempo de la fractura de tibia que se produjo en diciembre.
La idea del saque de banda consiste en situar la pelota en el pie del compañero más cercano
Cristiano Ronaldo marcó en el minuto 6

I am going to take a second here to recommend my favourite technique for finding good examples of Spanish in use. Using Google’s wildcard character, the asterisk, you can search for variations on a theme and see lots of fresh vocabulary. I combine it here with the Site modifier to restrict my searches to the El Pais website. Just paste the following into Google to see what I mean.

“messi * el balon” site:elpais.com

Ok, back to the football examples.

El gol de Terry a la salida de un córner eliminó al Barça en 2004-2005
Hasta ese gol la primera mitad ha sido igualada
El árbitro Ivanov no mostró la misma severidad con una falta sobre Cassano en la segunda mitad
Después de ver las dos repeticiones del gol de Torres Me atrevería a decir que remato a propósito Increíble !!!
El delantero del Monterrey remató de cabeza
Tarjeta amarilla para Mendoza
Thiago fue expulsado en el minuto 27

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