french-vocabulary-word-list-football-soccer-world-cup

The Ultimate French Vocabulary Guide For Football / Soccer

Sports can be a great way to start a conversation with the locals and put your French language skills to the test.

However, the sheer amount of vocabulary can make this a daunting task!

Sports talk can be chock full of idioms, slang, and informal expressions and it doesn’t help that the announcers usually talk at the speed of sound.

This guide will help you learn the basic vocabulary of France’s most popular sport: football (or soccer to you North Americans and Australians).

We’ve also thrown in a few more advanced expressions at the end if you’re ready to take your knowledge to the next level!

Learn these words, and you can be a part of the conversation.
 


 
Learn a foreign language with videos

The Ultimate French Vocabulary Word List For Football / Soccer & the World Cup

General vocabulary 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Arbitre assistant: (Noun, mas.) Assistant referee. Sometimes, this person’s job is also referred to as a ‘linesman’ or juge de lignes in French.

Si l’arbitre assistant veut signaler une sortie de ballon ou hors-jeu, il lèvera son drapeau.
(If the assistant referee wants to signal the ball going out of play or an offside, he will raise his flag) 

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Attaquant: (Noun, mas.) Forward; attacker.

L’équipe d’Espagne est très connue pour ses attaquants agressifs. 
(The Spanish national team is very well known for its aggressive forwards.) 

L’avant-centre: (Noun, mas.) Center-forward, also known as a striker, because their principal role is to score goals.

Un avant-centre qui ne marque pas de buts, c’est comme un boulanger qui ne boulange plus!
(A striker who doesn’t score any goals is like a baker that doesn’t bake any bread!)

But égalisateur: (Noun, mas.) Equalizer – a goal that ties the score.

Il a marqué, à la dernière minute, le but égalisateur vital contre le Réal Madrid.
(He scored the vital goal that tied up the match against Real Madrid in the last minute.) 

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Banc de touche: (Noun, mas.) Sideline bench.

Tous les joueurs sur le banc de touche étaient pris par l’émotion suite au but égalisateur. 
(All of the players on the sideline bench were overtaken with emotion after the goal that tied the game.) 

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Carton rouge: (Noun, mas.) Red card given for serious fouls.

Il s’est pris plusieurs cartons rouges et a été suspendu pour la saison. 
(He got several red cards and was suspended for the season.)

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Carton jaune: (Noun, mas.) Yellow card given as a first warning.

Le joueur a été sanctionné d’un carton jaune pour un tacle raté.
(The player was sanctioned with a yellow card for his botched tackle.) 

Centrer: (Verb) Center the ball.

L’ailier gauche a centré le ballon mais l’avant-centre a raté l’occasion !
(The right-winger centered the ball, but the striker missed the opportunity to score.)

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Classico: (Noun, mas.) Derby between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona/also used in France to describe any important match up.

Ce week-end, c’est le classico: Paris SG – Olympique de Marseille!
(This weekend is the classico: Paris SG – Olympique de Marseille!)

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Corner/coup de pied de coin (archaic) : (Noun, mas.) Corner kick.

Il a égalisé le match à la 36e minute lorsqu’il a redirigé de la tête un corner.
(He tied up the match at the 36th minute when he redirected a corner kick with a header.) 

 Coup d’envoi: (Noun, mas.) Kick-off.

Le coup d’envoi de la finale sera donné le dimanche 13 juillet à 21h.
(The kick-off for the final game will take place Sunday July 13th at 9pm.)

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Défenseur: (Noun, mas.) A Defender.

Les défenseurs ont perdu l’espoir après le cinquième but!
(The defenders lost all hope after the fifth goal!)

Dégager: (Verb) To clear the ball from the defensive zone.

Dégage, dégage! Mais dégage! Ils vont marquer là!
 (Get it out of there, get it out of there! Come on clear it! They are going to score!)

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Faute: (Noun, fem.) Foul.

Le joueur s’est pris un carton jaune pour une faute commise sur le défenseur.
(The player was given a yellow card for a foul on the defender.) 

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

 Frappe de la tête/une tête: (Noun, fem.) To hit the ball with the head instead of the foot; a header.

Il prend la relève et marque le seul but de la rencontre d’une tête ébouriffante.
(He took up the slack and scored the only goal of the game with a breathtaking header.) 

Gagner/remporter un match: (Verb) To win a game.

La France a remporté le troisième match de suite ce soir avec sa victoire contre l’Irlande. 
(France won the third match in a row this evening with its victory over Ireland.)

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Gardien de but: (Noun, mas.) Goalkeeper.

Le gardien de but lyonnais a encaissé plus de 50 buts cette saison!
(The Lyon goalkeeper has let pass more than 50 goals this season!)

Gradins: (Noun, mas. plural) Stands.

Les spectateurs hurlaient dans les gradins après le carton jaune donné par l’arbitre. 
(The spectators were yelling in the stands after the yellow card given by the referee.) 

Hors-jeu: (Adjective/Noun) Offsides.

Son but n’a pas été validé par l’arbitre parce qu’il était en position de hors-jeu.
(His goal was not counted by the referee because he was offsides.)

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Ligne de touche: (Noun, fem.) Sideline or touchline.

L’arbitre assistant se déplace au bord du terrain, le long de la ligne de touche.
(The assistant referee runs up and down the side of the field along the sideline.

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Marquer un but: (Verb) Score a goal.

Ils ont marqué un but à la 89e minute pour égaliser le match.
(They scored a goal in the 89th minute to tie up the match.)

Match à l’extérieur: (Noun, mas.) Away game. A home game is known as a match à domicile.

L’équipe n’a remporté aucun match à l’extérieur cette année!
(The team hasn’t won any away games this year!)

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Match: (Noun, mas.) Football match, soccer game.

Je me demande qui va gagner le match ce soir!?
(I wonder who is going to win the match this evening!?)

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup 

Match nul: (Noun, mas.)  Draw, tie.

Après un match nul sans but face à la Grèce, la France a gagné son match hier soir (2-0) face à l’Italie. 
(After a goalless draw against Greece, France won its game yesterday (2-0) against Italy.)

Mi-temps: (Noun, mas.) Half-time.

Les deux équipes se sont dirigées vers les vestiaires à la mi-temps.
(The two teams headed towards the locker rooms at half-time.)

Occasion: (Noun, fem.) A good opportunity to score a goal.

Quelle occasion à rater ! Il a failli marquer un but !
(What a great opportunity to miss! He almost scored a goal!)

Passer: (Verb) To pass the ball.

Le joueur a fait passer le ballon par dessus son adversaire !
(The player passer the ball clear over the head of his opponent!)

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Pénalty/coup de pied de réparation (archaic): (Noun, mas.) A free kick.

L’attribution du pénalty par l’arbitre fait débat entre les commentateurs. 
(The referee’s decision to gave a free kick was debated by the commentators.)

Les prolongations: (Noun, fem. plural) Overtime; extra-time. Be careful, this is different from temps additionnel!

 Comme le score était de 1-1 à la fin du temps réglementaire, ils ont joué les prolongations.
 (As the score was 1-1 at the end of regulation time, they went into overtime.)

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Remplaçant: (Noun, mas.) Replacement player; substitute (“Sub”).

Le remplaçant a pris la place de son coéquipier après sa blessure. 
(The sub took the place of his teammate after his injury.) 

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Spectateur/trice: (Noun. mas./fem.) Spectator.

Il n’y a pas beaucoup de spectateurs dans les gradins aujourd’hui.
(There are not many spectators in the stands today.) 

Tacler: (Verb) To tackle.

Le défenseur a taclé son adversaire pour arrêter son progrès sur le terrain. 
(The defender tackled his adversary in order to stop his advance down the field.) 

Temps additionnel: (Noun, mas.) Additional time; injury time.

L’arbitre a accordé 6 minutes de temps additionnel au temps réglementaire suite à de nombreuses blessures pendant le match. 
(The referee added 6 extra minutes of additional time to the regulation time after numerous injuries during the game.) 

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Terrain de football: (Noun, mas.) Pitch; field.

Le match était annulé suite aux orages hier soir parce que le terrain était trop humide. 
(The match was cancelled after the storms yesterday evening, because the field was too wet.)

Tirer: (Verb) To try and score a goal; to shoot.

Il a tiré un boulet de canon vers le gardien de but. 
(He sent the ball screeching towards the goalkeeper like a cannon ball.) 

Tirs au but: (Noun, mas. plural) Penalty shoot-out.

Étant à l’égalité à la fin du match, les deux équipes doivent passer par les tirs au but pour se départager. 
(As the game is all tied up, the two teams must now proceed to a penalty shoot-out to decide the winner.)

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Touche: (Noun, fem.) Throw-in.

Le joueur a été sanctionné d’un carton parce qu’il gênait son adversaire lorsqu’il effectuait une touche. 
(The player received a card because he was obstructing his opponent as he took a throw-in.) 

 

ultimate french vocabulary guide football soccer world cup

Les vestiaires: (Noun, fem. plural) Locker rooms; dressing rooms.

Les joueurs écoutaient leur entraîneur dans les vestiaires.
(The players were listening to their coach in the locker rooms.)

 

Bonus phrases and expressions for advanced learners!

Faire une Arconada: When a goalkeeper allows the ball to slip from his or her grasp and into the goal after a save. The expression comes from the name of a Spanish goalkeeper who made this mistake during the final game of the 1984 European Championships.

Ascenseur: Literally meaning “elevator,” this expression refers to when a player uses another player in order to hoist himself into the air in order to strike the ball, usually with his head.

Café Crème: A generic expression used to describe a skilled dribble that eliminates, often in a humiliating manner, the threat posed by an opponent.

Fermer la boutique: Expression used when a team adopts an ultra-defensive strategy after gaining the lead. In English, the expression “to park the bus” is often used to describe this strategy.

Fusiller le gardien: When a player scores a goal with an extremely powerful kick which leaves the goalkeeper with no chance of saving it.

Sortie kamikaze: When a goal keeper ventures out from the goal, leaving it unprotected, in order to confront an attacker.
 


 

And One More Thing…

If all this sports terminology has got you craving an active, exciting way of learning more French, then you’ve got to try FluentU.

FluentU lets you learn French from real-world content like music videos, commercials, news broadcasts, cartoons and inspiring talks. Since this video content is stuff that native French speakers actually watch on the regular, you’ll get the opportunity to learn real French—the way it’s spoken in modern life.

One quick look will give you an idea of the diverse content found on FluentU:

2014 10 09 20.42.25 9 Great Channels to Learn French on YouTube

Love the thought of learning French with native materials but afraid you won’t understand what’s being said? FluentU brings authentic French videos within reach of any learner. Interactive captions will guide you along the way, so you’ll never miss a word.

2014 10 09 20.44.00 9 Great Channels to Learn French on YouTube

Tap on any word to see a definition, in-context usage examples, audio pronunciation, helpful images and more. For example, if you tap on the word “suit,” then this is what appears on your screen:

2014 10 09 20.44.51 9 Great Channels to Learn French on YouTube

Don’t stop there, though. Use FluentU’s learn mode to actively practice all the vocabulary in any video with vocabulary lists, flashcards, quizzes and fun activities like “fill in the blank.”

2014 10 09 20.45.27 9 Great Channels to Learn French on YouTube

As you continue advancing in your French studies, FluentU keeps track of all the grammar and vocabulary that you’ve been learning. It uses your viewed videos and mastered language lessons to recommend more useful videos and give you a 100% personalized experience. Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes store or Google Play store.

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.

Experience French immersion online!

Comments are closed.