Leçons Allemand


German Soccer Expressions

If you are a soccer fan, you are probably already familiar with many soccer terms, but here are few that may be new for you!


A referee is a Schiedsrichter, but just as "ref" is often used as a shorter form for "referee" in English, so too in German is Schiri a shortening of Schiedsrichter:

Am besten holt sich jeder Schiri...
It would be best if every ref got…
Caption 30, Die OLElympischen Spiele: Laotischer Hühnertanz

The slang term Gelb sehen, literally to "see yellow," means a player has been penalized with a yellow penalty card:

Dafür habe ich aber ‘ne gelbe Karte wegen Foulspielen an ’n Rasen bekommen.
For that, however, I received a yellow card for foul plays on the field.
Caption 49, RheinMainTv Aktuell: Kick für Kid

In the above caption you see the football terms das Foulspiel (foul play) and der Rasen (the playing field) too!

A penalty shot is called an Elfmeter, literally an "eleven meter," in reference to the distance from the goal, and in this case the shot was verschossen or "missed":

Aus Scham über den verschossenen Elfmeter pumpt Vettel erstmal ein paar Liegestütze.
From shame over the missed eleven meter [penalty shot], Vettel first pumps a few push-ups.
Caption 40, Fußball: Prominente beim Benefizspiel

Here we manage to get four football terms in a single sentence!

Es ist ein Laufduell, ein Pass, der vor die Abwehr kommt, und ein Zweikampf.
It's a sprinting duel, a pass that comes before the defense, and a tackle.
Caption 37, Fußball: U21-Nationalmannschaft


Further Learning:

Pop quiz: without peeking, what do the terms we just read about mean? Der Schiri, die gelbe Karte, das Foulspiel, der Rasen, verschossen, der Elfmeter, das Laufduell, der Pass, die Abwehr, der Zweikampf. If you would like to go beyond vocabulary and into some very funny German soccer philosophy, read the article in der Spiegel entitled "German Football's Greatest Sayings."


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