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What Italian terms should every fan of Italian football know?

by Aishwarya Gaikwad
What Italian terms should every fan of Italian football know?

Italians just love their football. Usually, it’s the most discussed topic on Monday morning and it became a tradition, that fans of teams, which lost during the weekend’s serie A matches – serve coffee to others. While most of the matches are available on English-speaking canals, it won’t hurt you to get some knowledge about the most popular, football-related phrases.

Some of them were even transfered to multinational cultures around the world and it’s good to be sure, that you understand them correctly. Which phraes are the most important, if you’d like to discuss a match with Italian or simply follow the serie A plays?

Calcio

Calcio is a general family of words, used in relation to football. The word literally means “to kick” and Italians use different form of it to relate to their beloved sport.

Il calcio is “football”, “giocare a calcio” is some sort of verb refering to playing football. Di calcio is the whole football team, while calciatori means a single player.

What is more, word from “calcio” family are also commonly used when describing many actions on the field. For example, calcio d’angolo is corner, calcio di rigore stands for penalty kick. Da calcio is a football shoe.

In general, all you need to remember to understand your Italian friend is that “calcio” can refer to multiple actions, things or persons connected to the football. Lesson one – check!

Scommesse Sportive – if you’d like to bet

Italians are huge fans of football, which also makes them eager to… gamble from time to time. Scommesse Sportive is probably well known to you, just under different name: sports betting.

When Serie A is being played, many of the Italians tend to bet for their favourite teams. Some of them do it for fun, sparing a couple of Euros, while others – tend to treat it as a way of earning money. Whenever you’re in mood for some gambling in Milano – ask for scommesse sportive.

Commettere falli – when someone’s not playing fair

This is a phrase, which can’t be used in a positive way. Usually, you will see Italians yelling about “commettere falli” in an angry voice. No wonder, because those words mean “to foul”.

Bandiera

Have you ever heard of Francesco Totti? Well, he is a great example of la bandiera. Literally, the word means “a flag” and is used to describe a football player, who committed his whole (or almost whole) career to one team. The “flag” is wearing the very same team colour for many years and this term is actually used pretty rarely nowadays – as most of the players change clubs every couple of seasons.

Many more words

Of course, the mentioned above phrases or words are just an example. Italians, as football lovers, have many other words to describe the actions of the field, many of them only understandable for natives. For a foreigner, the above are the most important.

Also keep in mind, that Italy, just like every other country, has dialects. It means, that the words might vary slightly in different parts of the country and Italians from the south might use a bit different forms to those in the north of the country.

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