The World Cup is about to end. This past month I had a great time watching many of the matches here in Miami and also in Spain, where we spent half of the World Cup. Listening to the commentators in Spanish was so much fun; the phrases they used, the energy they had, and how they integrated their conversations with each other in order to deliver an entertaining transmission to the audience was absolutely awesome.
Football is a fascinating world and much more for those hinchas (that’s a new word in Spanish I learned for “fans”) whose teams participated in this event. Definitely, this sport is part of their lives… they speak and breathe football.
So, I asked some of our friends from Latin America and Spain that have collaborated with Speaking Latino for some examples of colloquial Spanish phrases related to football. Here are their answers:
Examples of Football Phrases in Spanish
1. Costa Rica: “Pegarla en en el palo”
José González Ugalde, author of the Dictionary of Costa Rican Slang, shared with me the phrase “pegarla en el palo.” In soccer it means missing a goal because the ball hit a post. In Costa Rica it is colloquially said when someone almost achieves something in life (not just in soccer).
2. Spain: “Casarse de penalti”
María Arnaldis is a Spanish teacher, owner of the blog SpanishOnline.es and is the author of the book El español de la calle. She selected the phrase “casarse de penalti” that literally translates to something like “a penalty marriage.” The English equivalent would be a shotgun wedding. She explains that in Spain this phrase is used when a couple gets married because the bride is pregnant.
3. Argentina: “La tenés adentro”
Native Argentine and editor of I Love Chile magazine, Paula Bonnet, adds the phrase “la tenés adentro” to this list.
“I’m actually a big fan of all the phrases Diego Maradona coined over the last few years. My favorite one is “La tenés adentro,” something he said to a journalist in a press conference after Argentina qualified for the World Cup… It’s something I say when I accomplish something that I didn’t think I could,” she said.
4. México: “Tuya, mía, te la presto, acaríciala, como se acaricia a la novia”
I had the opportunity to chat with Daniel González (@danigonzalezp) thanks to the Facebook page Mexicanos en Miami. Daniel is a sports journalist and a former soccer/football player, so imagine the amount of phrases he mentioned to me… it was absolutely impressive!
Daniel introduced me to the phrase “tuya, mía, te la presto, acaríciala, como se acaricia a la novia” by famous Mexican sport commentator Enrique Bermúdez de la Serna also know as “El Perro Bermúdez.” This phrase can literally be translated to “yours, mine, you can borrow it, caress her like a girlfriend” and it a synonym for tiki-taka style of play.
5. United States: “una chilena”
Since the United States is one of the top countries with Spanish speakers, I had to include Jared (him being my husband had nothing to do with it, honest!), my co-creator behind Speaking Latino.
“I remember when I first learned the soccer phrase “una chilena” for a bicycle kick. Since at the time I was living in Chile I just assumed it was a phrase that Chileans used for that move. It wasn’t until a couple years later when I left Chile that I learned that it was the actual phrase used throughout Latin America,” he said.
The translation of “una chilena” is a bicycle kick. Read the story of the chilena and its name in this article as well as see the diagrams of what this type of kick is. Here is a cool video of the best five goals with una chilena.
Now it is your turn. Leave me a comment and tell me, which is your favorite Spanish football phrase commonly used in your country.
Check out these other articles about the Spanish Language.