Skip to content

Football phrases in Spanish used in Argentina

Today you are going to learn some football phrases in Spanish used in Argentina!

Football (or soccer, for my American audience) is an important part of the Argentine culture and a key element in the formation of our national identity.

It can be seen when an Argentine national travels around the world.

As soon as they mention where they are from, it’s likely that a local will shout the names of Diego Maradona or Lionel Messi in a sign of recognition.

Argentines’ love for football has even influenced their way of speaking, coining phrases that they use in their daily lives.

Would you like to learn some of them? Let’s go!

Football phrases in Spanish used in Argentina

Here there are five of the most popular football or soccer phrases in Spanish used by Argentines.

It doesn’t matter if you are a football fan or not. Me myself I’m not one anymore! Yet I say these more or less frequently.

You can apply them to any context: sports, work, politics, business, family and friends, etc.

I will give you an explanation of each one and include examples of people using them in real life!

In order to do that, I will resort to Twitter once again! Read my article about how to learn Spanish with Twitter for more tips.

Now let’s learn those football phrases in Spanish!

1) Faltarle a alguien un par de jugadores

It literally means ‘to lack a couple of players’.

This is an Argentine football phrase equivalent for the expression faltarle un tornillo a alguien (to have a loose screw).

To play football each team needs eleven players. If they lack some, the team would be at a disadvantage and wouldn’t play well.

That’s why faltarle a alguien un par de jugadores is used colloquially to express that someone is crazy.

Other variations are le faltan algunos jugadores, just le faltan jugadores or directly le falta el equipo entero (the whole team). Argentines are creative, aren’t they?

2) Ser un golazo

Golazo is an informal term for ‘a great goal’ when a player scores one.

Outside football, we use ser un golazo to express that a situation is already or potentially very good, or that we either have a good opportunity or we already took advantage of it.

Click here to watch some of the best golazos in the Argentine football league this season.

I chose a video with football commentators on purpose so that you challenge yourself! How much of what they say can you understand?

Argentine football fans in the World Cup 2018 - learn football phrases in Spanish
Los hinchas argentinos apoyando al equipo nacional en el Mundial de Rusia 2018. Fuente:

3) Quedar en offside

In football, a player is offside when they are in a position that is not allowed, usually ahead of the ball or the last player of the rival team.

The truth is that the official rules have changed in recent years and I’m not even sure how it works anymore, but that’s the idea more or less.

In other contexts, we say quedar en offside to express that someone made a mistake, usually an embarrassing one, that was clearly noticed, or that they gave themselves away.

It also applies when you think you have a good opportunity to do or achieve something, but you miscalculate and mess it up.

4) Jugar de local / jugar de visitante

In Spanish, when a team juega de local, it means it’s playing at its stadium as the home team, while jugar de visitante means to be the visiting team.

Outside football, someone juega de local when they feel very comfortable in a place because it’s familiar, they have supporters there, or they are treated well, etc.

If someone juega de visitante, it means exactly the opposite with that person being in a challenging place or situation.

Do you play at home when you listen to Argentine Spanish or are you the visiting team?

And now let’s see the last one!

5) Ponerse la diez

Both Maradona and Messi have something in common: the jersey number 10. And why would that be relevant?

In football, the number 10 is the playmaker, the player who starts attacks or brings other teammates into a position in which they could score. It’s usually the most talented player in a team!

Ponerse la diez literally means ‘to put on the jersey number 10’, but it’s used to express that someone leads a team and get it out of a difficult situation.

For example, if there’s a team project and your co-workers are lost, you could put on the jersey number 10 to show initiative, deliver tasks, encourage and help them, etc.

It also means that someone has done a very generous act.

For example, when earlier this year McDonald’s Argentina se puso la 10 and offered different discounts and promotions, as well as the chance for children to interview the football players of the national team.

And you? When was the last time you put on the jersey number 10?

And that’s all for today!

Do you want to learn more Spanish?

I hope you have enjoyed this article about football phrases in Spanish used in Argentina!

If you liked this post, you can share it with someone else who might find it helpful! I’m always glad to reach and help more people around the world.

If you want to learn more Spanish, subscribe to my newsletter for free! You will get new updates by email, as well as a copy of my ebook, the Definitive Guide to Learn Conjugations in Spanish.

And to improve your Spanish even further, book a lesson with me! My students are already speaking Spanish and using it in their everyday lives. Be one of them!

Thank you very much and until next time,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link