What are some of the funny sayings and quotes that people from the world of soccer use and what do the mean? Why did I decide to write a blog about this? So the story goes…

Right in the top bins!

The other day I was in the pub watching a football match and it was half time during the game.

The football pundit’s were doing their usual analysis of the game. The regular chat between them, in the studio, where they sit around and talk about what has happened in the game so far. You have all probably seen it a million times. One of them said “I loved the first goal, the precise nature of the way he scored it went right in the top bins”

It was said in the normal flo of the conversation and they carried on talking. Being a football mad person, it never occurred to me at the time but when I thought about it later, that’s when it hit me.

These things from the worlds of soccer that the people involved in the game say all the time seems normal to them but what about someone who doesn’t follow the game or is just learning about the game, it must be like a foreign language to them and they will be wondering what are they talking about.

That’s when I decided to have a think about some of these funny sayings and quotes and explain what they mean to help people out who want to learn more about the game of soccer, help those folk out who know nothing about the game and can now say ah so that’s what they are on about, or like us football mad folks just want to have a laugh at the crazy things they say.

Really, they just said what?

Here is a list of some of those crazy sayings followed by what I think they might mean. (thoughts are my own, I am just giving them one hundred and ten percent 🙂










“right In the top bins” –  A goal has been scored right in the top corner of the goalposts. The ball goes into the net right in between the angle of the side and top posts in the top corner.

“A game of two halves” – We all know this one right?! Two halves of forty five minutes each, but that is not what the pundits are talking about. If in the first half one team is completely on top of the game, they have possession of the ball and are attacking all the time, the other team can’t seem to get out of their penalty area. Then half time whistle blows and the players go off for a break. When they come out and play the second half, the team who was on the defensive in the first half suddenly have all the possession and attacking play and now the other team are constantly under pressure. A game of two halves – now you know 🙂

“Dead ball” – no one has killed the ball. It is when the ball is placed down and is not moving during a game. If a free kick is given to one team  and they place the ball down on the ground to take the free kick, but before the referee blows his whistle and the player runs up to kick the ball which is not moving, this is called a dead ball. This goes for a penalty, a corner or any other play during a match where the game is stopped for that reason and the ball is not back in play before it is restarted.

“Play to the referees whistle” – the referee is the person in charge of the game. The whistle gets blown and the game starts. The ball is in play until the referee blows up for something he has seen wrong. The game stops and then he blows the whistle again and the play starts over.

“Dominate the ball” – this simply means that one team have all the play over they other team during a match. They are in control of the football during play.

“What a screamer”  – this is a goal scored of the highest quality. One of the best goals you will probably ever see scored. In basic terms a world class goal. It can also be called a pile driver.

“In Nets” –  this simply is talking about the goalkeeper and playing in between the goalposts, their position within  the soccer team.



“Pick up the second ball” – but there is only one ball in play, so how can you do this? It means the one ball in play when it is cleared away from your defensive area and is in a dangerous area of the pitch just outside your area. It is meant for the players on the field to get to the ball first before the other player.

“a must win game” – Aren’t all games a must win game? That’s the point to score goals and win games. To get more points for your team.

“a goal good enough to win any game” – if you score the winning goal in a game isn’t that kind of the point?  If it’s  a good goal the team scored but didn’t win you the game then it wasn’t a goal good enough to win you the game, it was just another goal.

“one hundred and ten percent” – if one hundred is the maximum then where does the extra ten percent come from? Just say it like it is – they gave one hundred percent. You must be superhuman to give more than your maximum.

“the group” – this is not a pop or rock band we are talking about. It is a team, or a squad of players that get together to play football.

“tiki-taka”the buzz words at the moment in soccer meaning short and precise passing from one player in a team to another player to keep position of the football. It can be slow  and boring to watch at the time. They are just passing the ball to each other for the sake of it. I wish they would try moving the ball forward at times and give the fans something to get excited about, they have paid money for entertainment,  those football teams who decide to play this way need to remember that.

“Handbags at dawn” – when two players confront each other on the field of play, a little bit of a scuffle, but no punches or anything serious goes on. Much to do about nothing. I think it is in reference to if two women get into an argument and swing their handbags at each other. When it started and what that has to do with the game of soccer I have no idea?

“nuts” – the aim of this is to kick, roll, or push  the ball through a players legs, when they are not expecting it. It is also called a nutmeg or megs.

Lets all listen out for what they might say next!

Next time you hear a proper football person talking about the game of soccer take a closer listen to what they are saying, and what they might say next. It might make you laugh.

There are millions of these quotes and sayings within soccer they use so I am sure I have missed out many of them.

Who knows you may hear them say one of them I have mentioned in the article and now you will have some sort of understanding of what they are talking about when it comes to the soccer sayings, or maybe not cause most of the time most of us haven’t got a clue as to what they are trying to say.


Let me know some of the other things you have heard them say that made you laugh.

Please leave me a comment about this topic below.


“they think its all over, it is now!”



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Rgpratap · 25/03/2019 at 2:55 pm

Hey Matthew,
Awesome humorous article. Wow! 😀
The first pictures with the funny dialogues make me laugh a lot. And then letter on words like Dead ball, pick up the second ball, one hundred and ten percent, handbags at dawn are really so much fun to hear in relation to soccer. I do love football very much but I never thought about these funny words or ideas. This may be because my first language is not English. I truly enjoyed a lot and thanks for sharing these funny words.

Warm regards,

    Matthew Hofman · 25/03/2019 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Rgpratap

    I am glad this post made you laugh that was the intention. 

    With football becoming such big business it’s good to remember that it is not all meant to be serious, and we can still have a smile at the crazy things they say. 

    Take care and your English seems fine to me 😀

    Thank you for the kind comments about this soccer post. 

Kenechi · 25/03/2019 at 2:35 pm

I appreciate this. You have really quenched my curiosity in knowing these few football quotes you mentioned here. I am not really more of a football person by I enjoy watching football games. I have heard them say few of the quotes you mentioned in this article and I  have been curious to know what they actually meant. I have heard them talk about dead ball,  dominate ball and a game of two halves but I never knew the meanings of those words. I am glad knowing this now. 

    Matthew Hofman · 25/03/2019 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Kenechi

    That was the intention of this light hearted article, to make you smile and teach you something about the game of soccer. Listen to them next time they are on the tv and see what funny stuff they say. 

    Take care my friend and thank you for the message. 

Etah · 25/03/2019 at 2:22 pm

Hello Matthew,

Wow, this is really interesting, I had no idea what must of the sayings meant, I have heard some before, though it meant something else :), thanks for enlightening me. At least now I can participate in a football conversation, not just being the quiet one nodding cause I am not sure of what they are talking about.


    Matthew Hofman · 25/03/2019 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Etah. You won’t be the only one who has no idea what they are talking about. I am even confused at times 🙂

    Listen out for some of what I mentioned in this article cause they will say them again soon. 

    The crazy world of soccer makes millions of us laugh at times. 

    Thank you for the lovely message 

    Take care. 

Adamu2 · 25/03/2019 at 2:18 pm

I absolutely love what I read in this insightful article because it is full of great information. This is fascinating and interesting to me.watching soccer can be so fun enough and it’s also form of relaxation. I have seen a situation whereby a player making attempt to fight other opponent .its always interesting. Thanks for the review, best regards 

    Matthew Hofman · 25/03/2019 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Adams. 

    As always I appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment. 

    Yes soccer can be fun. It doesn’t have to so serious all the time. 

    Good luck to you 

Gracen · 25/03/2019 at 2:14 pm

Hello Matthew, what an interesting piece. I am not a football fanatic though sometimes I have sit with my hubby while he watch the game. You got me there with that first quite, “Right in the top bins!” That’s a new one, I haven’t heard that before. 

I guess I am gradually learning some things in football game all thanks to my hubby, I know what “dead ball” is and some others. I will direct my football fanatic cousins and hubby to your site to read more of the quotes.

Thanks for sharing.

    Matthew Hofman · 25/03/2019 at 4:57 pm

    hi Gracen. 

    I am so pleased you found some new information within this article. 

    If you keep listening to the soccer pundits you will find many more just like these few I have mentioned. 

    If you cousins love soccer and want to lean more about training and improving, then keep checking out my site and sign up to the subscription form, for regular newsletters. 

    Best wishes to you. 

ajibola40 · 25/03/2019 at 2:11 pm

Thanks for writing this article funny sayings and quotes in football. Truly I have hear some of this quotes before and I find it a little funny and reading about more of it here, all I can say it that every profession job had it own words that I can’t really say they are English words that have a specific meaning.but it has meaning in the profession this words is been use. So football as a profession is not left out

    Matthew Hofman · 25/03/2019 at 5:02 pm

    hi Ajibila 

    Very true that when you think some words mean one thing but used slightly differently they can mean something entirely the opposite . 

    Yes they can be very funny when they are used by football pundits,  when they are trying to describe the game. 

    Good luck to you my friend. 

Chris · 25/03/2019 at 2:09 pm

Loved reading this, being a die hard Liverpool fan all my life I love coming across football (or soccer as you call it!) quotes like this. My great grandfather actually played for LFC between the two world wars! 

My personal favourite quote linked to football is “if he’s good enough….he’s old enough!”

It’s quote that gave us so much inspiration when we were young teenagers trying to break through! 

    Matthew Hofman · 25/03/2019 at 5:06 pm

    hi Chris 

    If you find me on twitter @ hmatf you see I am a massive Liverpool fan too. As the saying goes you will never walk alone.  

    Yes I love your quote too. Thanks for sharing it. 

    When football gets into your blood it takes over at times.

    Take care and thanks for leaving me this kind comment.  

Daniel · 25/03/2019 at 2:05 pm

Hi Matthew, I must say that this article is very interesting and laughy. Honestly, you made my day looks happier as football is one of my best sports and these quotes are really funny and I must say accurately. Am I allowed to save this in my Google docs to show my friends?

    Matthew Hofman · 25/03/2019 at 5:23 pm

    hi Daniel 

    I am so glad that was the aim of it to shed a bit of laughter and humour to soccer. 

    Why not send them to my website to read it and save yourself the hassle. 

    You can bookmark the page then you can find it straight away. I have no problem you showing it to other as long as it’s not copied. 

    Thank you for leaving me a c omment and good luck to you

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