Soccer Slang and Lingo

While you can certainly enjoy the game of soccer without knowing what certain words and phases mean, it will be a lot more fun if you know what they mean. We have gathered a list of the most common soccer slang words and phases. Learn what these words and phrases mean and you will quickly become a soccer “insider”. 


Worldie describes an amazing goal. This term isn’t used a lot because soccer fans like to reserve it for goals that are extremely special. We are talking about jaw-dropping goals that leave you, and hundreds of other soccer fans, speechless. 

Parking the Bus

Used when a soccer team takes a defensive approach to the game. Instead of sending players to attack the ball or gain possession, a team that “parks the bus” is more focused on blocking their goal and preventing the other team from scoring. This usually results in more players being behind the ball than in front of it or trying to gain possession of it. 



Describes when a single player scores two goals in a single game 

Hat Trick 

Describes when a single player scores three goals in a single game 

Clean Sheet 

Describes when a team has completed a match and not allowed the other team to score. 


A match between two teams that are often located near each other, such as in the same city or area. A long-standing rivalry often exists between the players and fans of these two teams. 


An error or mistake made by a player when the correct solution was extremely obvious. Howler can also be used when a referee makes a bad call.

Off-side Trap 

A defensive play that is designed to cause the opposing team to be called offsides. For this play to be successful, the team must wait until the opposing team is about to pass the ball up the field to a striker (who is preparing to score). Just as the ball is about to be passed, the team will move their defensive players forward which may cause an offside call. Teams use this play as a way to gain quick possession of the ball. 


A missed opportunity to score a really easy goal.


A style of play commonly used by Spanish teams. It describes when a team is focused on quickly passing the ball between players. 


Term used to describe an amazing goal. This term is commonly used by Spanish broadcasters and said with a lot of excitement. 


When a corner kick turns into a goal. In order to earn the term Olimpico, the ball must not touch another player and must be kicked from the corner into the goal. 


Kicking the ball backwards. This is done as a way to pass the ball to another player. The ball is kicked backwards and not directly to the player. 


When a player makes a movement or action as if they are going to go one direction but instead go the other. This is done as a way to gain an advantage over the opposing team as they prepare for one action when you do something else. 

Also used when a player acts as if they will receive the ball, but lets it go past them to a teammate behind them, to confuse defenders.

Far Post

The goal post that is located further away from the ball. 

Near Post 

The goal post that is located closer to the ball. 


Describes the action of kicking a ball through your opponent’s legs and gaining possession of it on the other side. Think of this as a pass to yourself, but kicking through your opponent’s legs. 

Through ball 

Passing the ball through a gap created by two defenders on the opposing team. This is often used as a way to keep the ball away from the goalie. 


Term commonly used when a player changes the location of the action on the field. For example, a player would switch the ball from the left to the right side.


Adding a very low spin to the ball when it is kicked. The low spin on the ball makes it go in a sort of zig-zag pattern. 


A fancy “trick” that players can perform with the ball. A player uses their foot to slightly lift the ball so it moves up your leg. With the heel on the opposite foot, the player will then kick the ball in an arc movement. When done correctly, the ball swiftly moves up the leg, kicked by the heel and neatly travels over their head. 

Bicycle Kick 

A very fancy way to kick a ball that is coming at you through the air. In a bicycle kick, a player performs a slight backwards somersault. While moving, the player moves their feet like they are pedaling a bike. This movement is used to kick a ball in midair. 

Whether you are a spectator who just likes watching soccer or you are an athlete who is new to the game, you will encounter these words and phrases a lot. Now that you know their meaning, you will be able to develop a better understanding of the game of soccer.