Football is a team game that is played on a rectangular pitch. Each team has 11 players and the aim is to score by kicking a round ball into a goal. Football is a different game to American football.
In American English, football is called ‘soccer’.
football/soccer idioms and expressions
Many idioms originated from football/soccer and here is a list of them with examples.
- get a kick out of something
meaning – to enjoy something/get pleasure out of something
example – I really get a kick out of fishing, I’ve been twice this week already.
- get/set the ball rolling
meaning – start a process
example – I want to sell my house. I’ll call the estate agent and get the ball rolling tomorrow.
- keep one’s eye on the ball
meaning – stay focused
example – We need to keep out eye on the ball, our final exams start in a month.
- keep the ball rolling
meaning – maintain the momentum/progress
example – Ernie founded the charity before he passed. It’s up to us to keep the ball rolling.
- kick off
meaning – the start of an event/activity or start arguing/fighting
example – I’m leaving work at 6, so I’ll be back in time for kick off.
- move the goalposts
meaning – change the rules/parameters to make a situation more difficult
example – I met the conditions, but they refused my proposal. They can’t keep moving the goalposts.
- on the ball
meaning – alert, focused, efficient
example – You haven’t been on the ball recently. Are you having problems at home?
- on the bench
meaning – a substitute, not participating
example – I’ve got a knee injury; I’ll be on the bench for at least 6 weeks.
- on the sidelines
meaning – not actively participating
example – Thomas has hurt his knee, so he’ll be on the sidelines today.
meaning – persuade someone to support/agree with you
example – Once the council are onside, we can go ahead with the house extension.
- tackle something
meaning – deal with a task/problem/issue
example – I’ll tackle the pile of paperwork on my desk after lunch.
football/soccer idioms and expressions with pictures
You can download a table of football/soccer idioms and expressions below.
If you’ve enjoyed this page, don’t forget to check out some more sports idioms by clicking on the links below.