4 Football Words You Can Start Using Without Knowing Any Football

The football season is kicking off this weekend with the English Premier League! I know, girls, the honeymoon period is over, your man is gonna go back and glue himself to the TV every Sunday night and may not want to get all cuddled up in bed watching Paper Towns with you.

If that’s not bad enough, he’ll also be yelling words that probably don’t make any sense to you. You want to watch football, but it’s not quite your thing, but you also don’t want to be completely ignorant about it either? This is where I come in and say, “I got your back, girlfriend!”

Before I go on, I also know that there are plenty of guys out there who don’t get football too, so you can drop the macho act and also make use of this list of very easy football words anyone can start using; whether you care about football or not.

Magic Word #1: Starting 11


Every football game has 11 players on the field, not including the substitutes (back-up players la), who will be waiting their turn on the bench. These 11 players who start the game can be a different set of 11 players in every game. They also have different roles; like defenders, midfielders and forwards, um, I’ll explain this some other time okay?

The starting 11; usually written as starting XI, is usually made up of the best players in the team, the cream of the crop, and therefore they are also known as “first-choice” players. Like the best students in the class lah.Are we okay so far?

But sometimes, due to injuries or red cards, the first-choice player may have to sit out and let someone else take his position. This could change the entire game, the team could still win, or lose horribly, and that is why it’s soooooooooo important to know who is playing and who’s not before the game starts.

So next time you happen to watch a game with your friends, don’t ask if Cristiano Ronaldo is playing today, ask, “Who’s in the starting XI?” and break open a Fanta.

Starting XI of Arsenal, the Manager (M) and Substitutes (Subs). The numbers on the left are their jersey numbers. You will see this EVERY TIME before a match.


Additional tip #1: Cristiano plays 99% of the games for his club, so don’t even bother asking this question

Additional tip #2: Yes, he’s single.

Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo 2014 Wallpaper HD7

 Hello, ladies…

Magic Word #2: Home or Away

Every football club has its own stadium which is also known as the home stadium. For example, Manchester United‘s home stadium is called Old Trafford.This is where they conduct all the training sessions and play the matches.


So, if someone says Man U is playing “at home”, you know the game is taking place in Old Trafford. You can go up to your Man United-crazy boyfriend and say, “Hey, I was doing some reading, Old Trafford has some amazing history!” And he might just buy you that handbag you’ve been coveting since Valentine’s Day.

Having said that, if someone says Man U is playing “away”, that means the game is taking place at the opponent’s home stadium.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, why is it so important to know which stadium they’re playing at ah??It’s just a stadium right? Like I said above, every stadium has its own history that both the players and fans are proud of. The number of trophies they’ve won, last minute goals, defeating arch-rivals, all these account for something. Some teams are even afraid to play at a particular stadium because they probably got their asses kicked there before.

Another thing to note: When a team is playing at home, they are expected to win the game. It’s embarrassing to lose in your home stadium, especially if we’re talking big clubs like Real Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester United and the like. Once you’ve mastered this, you can also use it as an insult. “You guys lost AT HOME? Go kill yourself!”

So how to know if a team is playing at home or away? You can tell by simply looking at top left hand corner of the TV. The team that is named first is playing at home. For example:

Liverpool v Man United – Liverpool is mentioned first, so you know that the game is taking place at Liverpool’s home stadium, Anfield.


Arsenal v Everton – Arsenal is mentioned first, so that’s how you know the game is taking place at Emirates Stadium, Arsenal’s home stadium


Magic Word #3: Half-time

Easy one. This is when you’re watching the game and it suddenly stops somewhere around the 45th minute and you see everyone leaving the field with poker faces without jumping on one another or jumping around with huge grins on their faces.

That’s because the players are taking a 15-minute break. This applies to EVERY game, no exceptions. It’s called half-time simply because 45 minutes is half of 90 minutes, which is the duration of a complete football game.Although sometimes, it could stretch out a couple of minutes, but that whistle is coming!

Next time when the game stops anywhere between the 45th and 50th minute, bravely stand up and say, “Okay, it’s half-time! I’m gonna go get us some more beer and chips!” Trust me, your boyfriend will be like:


Magic Word #4: Full-time

Like I explained above, a football game lasts 90 minutes, but there might be an additional 3-5 minutes to make up for injuries and substitutions. Instead of asking, “Is the game over yet?” simply say,”Is it full time?” and you will not sound like the typical whiny girlfriend. Or you can just not ask that question because he’s not moving from that couch anyway.

Important note: Unless you’re watching the world cup or some major finals, DO NOT ask if there’s going to be penalty shoot-out when there’s a draw. Here’s how it works.

Winning team – Gets 3 points

Losing team – Nothing happens, they just don’t get any sugar

Draw – Each team gets one point

Alternatively, if your boyfriend’s team wins, you can say, “Yay, 3 points!!!”


So there you have it, four easy-to-use football terms all broken-down, eloquently explained, make sure to start using it this weekend!

If there are any other weird football terms you’re not too sure about and want me to explain, let me know in the comments below!

Written by Gowri Krishnan

Gowri is a radio announcer and content creator at DurianASEAN.com. She's your typical curl-up-in-bed-with-a-book kinda girl; who loves Real Madrid and will sell her soul to get into Tarantino's head.