Of all team sports, football -or soccer- is definitely the most popular one in Italy. So, it’s not unusual that going to the stadium or watching the match on TV are extremely popular social activities in the Bel Paese – if you get invited to either these activities, I suggest you go to learn more about Italian culture. Going to the stadium is, without a doubt, one of those activities you must do at least once in your lifetime…even if you don’t like football! Obviously, it’s important to understand what people are talking about, and to be able to give your opinion in a comprehensible way. So, in this article we will go to the stadium, and we will show how to use the most common Italian words and expressions to TALK ABOUT FOOTBALL.
GOING TO THE STADIUM IN ITALY
In this article you will find a dialogue between Annagrazia and Graziana while they watch the game at the stadium; after each part of dialogue, you will find the explanation for each word, verb or expression used by the two girls that has to do with the world of football.
EVENT AND SEATS
Annagrazia, supporter of Juventus Football Club (simply known as Juventus or Juve), has two tickets and so she decides to ask Graziana if she wants to go with her. The occasion is very important…but so are the seats she has chosen!
A: Oggi c’è una partita importantissima…la finale del campionato! Ho comprato due biglietti per lo stadio. Ci andiamo?
(Today there is a very important match…the Championship final! I bought two tickets to the stadium. Do you want to come?)
G: Volentieri! A che ora?
(Of Course! At what time is it?)
A: La partita comincia alle 21, ma noi partiamo da qui alle 19 per arrivare puntuali.
(The match starts at 9 PM but we should leave at 7 PM to get there on time.)
G: Okay… Chi gioca?
A: Ahh ma allora non sei proprio informata! Inter – Juventus!
(Ah, so you’re not informed at all! It’s Inter vs. Juventus!)
G: Oh… Tu sei tifosa della Juventus, giusto?
(Oh…you’re a Juventus supporter, right?)
A: Ovviamente! Soprattutto adesso con Vlahovic! Dai che lo vinciamo questo scudetto!
(Obviously! Especially now that Vlahovic plays! We’re going to win this championship!)
G: Spero tu non abbia i biglietti per la curva… Non mi piace guardare le partite da lì…
(I hope you didn’t get the tickets in the curva…I don’t like to watch the match from there…)
A: No, sono riuscita a trovarli per la tribuna ovest. Non male, no? Anche se costavano di più.
(No, I only found some tickets for the West Stand. Not bad, right? They were more expensive, though.)
G: Ben fatto!
CAMPIONATO: single match or series of athletic competitions organized periodically to assign the title of champion to the participant (either a single athlete or a team) who wins = CHAMPIONSHIP
TIFOSO: a person who follows and supports a team = SUPPORTER
SCUDETTO: symbol of victory of a national Championship. It can also be a physical object, when it comes to team sports: it’s a cloth badge shaped like a shield, worn on the uniform by the team who won the national Championship in the previous season – in Italian, it means “little shield” = CHAMPIONSHIP (general), LEAGUE TITLE
CURVA: each of the two sectors of the terraces(/bleachers) of a stadium located at the smaller sides of the playing field, usually frequented by the most avid supporters; they usually show their support with choirs, dance numbers and giant flags. The term “curva” is an Italian term or name for curved stands of seating located at sports stadiums, particularly in Italy; so named, originally, due to their curved or bending shape. The curva plays an integral part in the culture of Ultras and European football. = CURVED STANDS / CORNER SEATS
TRIBUNA: section of the stadium that is divided into three parts: central tribune where public personalities and team presidents generally reside and two side stands, East and West. For these places, the prices are higher than in the other sectors. = STAND/TRIBUNE
COACH, REFEREE AND PLAYERS ROLES
The two girls have arrived at the stadium, and they have seated. From there, they can see everything very well, and they are definitely going to comment on the players and all those who have an important role during the match…!
A: Spero che l’arbitro sia onesto e non faccia preferenze. Oh, guarda: c’è il fischio d’inizio!
(I hope that the referee is honest and isn’t biased. Oh, look…it’s the starting whistle!)
G: Che ne pensi delle formazioni?
(What do you think about the team?)
A: Eh no, non puoi lasciare Chiesa in panchina in una partita così importante. Lui è fondamentale, non può essere una riserva! Ma a parte questo… Penso che l’allenatore abbia fatto bene a mettere Dybala e Vlahovic come attaccanti, Bonucci e Chiellini come difensori e Locatelli e Rabiot come centrocampisti. Abbiamo buone speranze!
(Well, you cannot keep Chiesa on the bench in such an important match. He is fundamental, he cannot be a reserve! Beside this…I think that the coach was right to make Dybala and Vlahovic play as forward players, Bonucci and Chiellini as defenders, and Locatelli and Rabiot as midfielders. We have a good chance to win!)
G: Oh guarda… Rimessa dal fondo!
(Look…a goal kick!)
A: Mmh… Niente…
ARBITRO: match official that must follow all the stages of the competition, reinforce the rules, subject players to sanctions when they break the rules, and validate the final result = REFEREE
FISCHIO D’INIZIO: in a football match, the referee’s whistle authorizing the initial kick, which starts the game. = STARTING WHISTLE
FORMAZIONE: the 11 regular players chosen by the coach to start a match. = TEAM
PANCHINA: seat placed at the edge of the football field, where coach, technicians and substitute players sit during the match. = BENCH
(CALCIATORE DI) RISERVA: non-regular player of a team. They don’t play but stay seated on the BENCH and can replace another player, tired or injured. The process by which a regular player is replaced is called “SOSTITUZIONE” (substitution). = RESERVE/ SUBSTITUTE
ALLENATORE: the person who prepares the team both physically and tactically. = COACH
ATTACCANTE: player in forward position, whose aim is to score goals. = FORWARD
DIFENSORE: player in backward position; they are near their own goalkeeper because their aim is to prevent or hinder the attack actions of the opponents. = DEFENDER
CENTROCAMPISTA: footballer who plays in a central position with the task of filtering and building the game. = MIDFIELDER
RIMESSA DAL FONDO: when the ball gets out of the goal line without a goal being scored and player who touched the ball was an opponent. The “RIMESSA LATERALE” (throw-in) is carried out when the ball fully crosses the sideline of a field. The ball must be thrown, with both hands at the same time, no further than the limit of the center of one’s head, with both feet on the ground and outside the touchline. = GOAL KICK
POINTS AND INFRACTIONS
An hour later, both the first half and the half-time break are over, which means that there is only the second half left.
G: Siamo a metà partita e nessuno riesce a segnare. I passaggi sono troppo lenti, non credi?
(We are halfway through the game and nobody can score. The passes are way too slow, don’t you think?)
A: Non me ne parlare… E adesso ci mancava solo il fuorigioco di Dybala!
(Don’t get me started…And now Dybala has been flagged for offside…great!)
G: Aspetta, aspetta… Forse adesso la Juve segna… Guarda! L’arbitro ha appena concesso il calcio di rigore!
(Wait, wait…maybe they can score now… Look! The referee has just allowed the penalty kick!)
A: Seeeee! Evvai! E meno male! Meno male! Cioè… Hai visto cosa ha fatto Skriniar? Altro che cartellino giallo! Io gli avrei dato il cartellino rosso!
(Yeaaaah! Hooray! Thank goodness! I mean…did you see what Skriniar did? I would have given him more than a yellow card… I would have given him he red card!)
A: Che gol! Fantastico! Il portiere era completamente spiazzato!
(What a goal! The goalkeeper was completely floored!)
FUORIGIOCO: a player is flagged for this is they’re in the opponents’ half and there aren’t at least two opposing players between them and the goalpost. = OFFSIDE
CALCIO DI RIGORE: a player is allowed to take a single shot at the goal while it is defended only by the opposing team’s goalkeeper; it’s awarded to a team that has suffered a serious foul in the penalty area.= PENALTY KICK
PORTIERE: player who has the task to defend their own team’s goalpost. For this reason, they are the only player allowed to touch the ball with any part of their body, including their hands. = GOALKEEPER
CARTELLINO GIALLO/ROSSO: the CARTELLINO GIALLO is what the referee shows during a match to caution a player who breaks the rules or behaves unsportsmanlike; the CARTELLINO ROSSO is what the referee shows during a match to dismiss a player in the event of a serious infringement. = YELLOW CARD/RED CARD
GOL: point scored by a team to their own advantage – this happens when the ball enters the area between opponents’ goalposts. = GOAL
END OF THE MATCH… AND POST-MATCH
After the sanction, the match continues and it gets closer and closer to the end, but not without some unexpected event…
A: Ma dai! Non è giusto! Quello non è fallo dai! L’arbitro è proprio un incompetente. Ma cosa assegni il calcio di punizione dai!
(Oh, come on! It’s not fair! That wasn’t a foul! The referee is really incompetent. Why would anyone reward a free kick? Come on!)
G: Secondo te segna?
(You think he’ll score?)
A: Certo che segna Chalanoglu da là… Ecco! 1-1 … Hanno pareggiato…
(Of course Chalanoglu will score from there…there! 1-1… they have tied…)
G: Ormai però mancano pochi minuti… Penso che si andrà ai supplementari.
(But there are a few minutes left, though… I think we will go to extra time.)
A: Speriamo almeno che non si andrà ai rigori perché lì il mio cuore non regge.
(Let’s hope that at least we won’t go to penalties because my heart couldn’t handle it.)
G: Addirittura? Oh, guarda… Calcio d’angolo!
(Really? Oh, look…a corner kick!)
A: Questa è l’ultima occasione per fare gol! Mannaggia! Oh, guarda! *si mangia le unghie* Gooool! Vlahovic! Il grande! Che colpo di testa! Non ci credoooooo! 2-1!
(This is their last chance to score…dang! Look! *bites her nails* Goaaaaal! Vlahovic! The great! What a header! I can’t believe it! 2-1!)
FALLO: an infraction to the competition rules, unfair act by a player against a player of the opposing team. Depending on the type, the sanction can either be a free kick in favor of the opposing team, a yellow card, or a red card. = FOUL
CALCIO DI PUNIZIONE: way in which the game is resumed after a violation of the rules has been committed. = FREE KICK
1-1: the score, in Italian, is read as [first number] – A – [second number], for instance: 2 a 0, 3 a 1, 1 a 1, and so on…
PAREGGIO: Result of a match in which both teams get the same score. = TIE
SUPPLEMENTARI: When the two teams have tied, there is an additional time period, and the match involves a direct elimination. If after this additional time the situation has not changed, they will continue the match with the “RIGORI” (penalties/penalty kicks).
More often than not, the match is longer than the usual 90 minutes – this extra time is called “RECUPERO” (stoppage time), and it’s usually awarded by the referee to compensate for lost time due to various causes during the game (changes, injuries, etc). = EXTRA TIME, or OVERTIME
CALCIO D’ANGOLO: The kick is taken from the corner of the field of play nearest to the place where the ball crossed the goal line, if when the ball went out of play over the goal line after being kicked by an opposing player. = CORNER KICK
COLPO DI TESTA: when the head is used to hit the ball. = HEADER
What do you think of the football lexicon? Surely it will come in handy when talking to Italians! Let us know in the comments if football is a popular sport in your country! Also, don’t forget to watch the video on the gym’s lexicon: it could be useful if you decide to train in Italy!
If you like to immerse yourself completely in the authentic Italian language, you should not out on our course: Italiano in Contesto, based entirely on the Contextual Method! You will be immersed in real day-to-day conversations (at the bar, in the pizzeria, at the doctor, etc.), just as if you were really in Italy! Thus, you will learn real Italian, that of native speakers, which you will not find in books. Using the coupon code CALCIO, you will get unlimited access to Italiano in Contesto for only 69€.