With growing interest in the Spanish game, we thought it helpful to introduce English speakers to some key Spanish footballing slang. Read, learn and enjoy (or “Esta es la mangosta muerta” as they say in Spain).
a mig toc
Literally “half a touch”. Used to describe a quick pass, but also a poor tackle or challenge for a header.
Two central defenders, two wing backs pushed up the pitch, a square four-man midfield, and a false nueve playing behind an out-and-out striker.
Some sort of cheerful accident, e.g. when the open-top bus drives over the dropped trophy.
A “separatist” forward (one who does what he wants and ignores tactical instructions from the bench).
An overweight player or one who returns to preseason training unfit.
A player lacking in courage, particularly one who pulls out of 50:50 tackles.
Testicles. Also name of a shopping mall in the centre of Madrid favoured by Spanish WAGs.
Pep Guardiola, especially if wearing one of his slim 60s suits.
Matches between Barcelona and Real. Also used to describe any two Barcelona players exchanging five one-twos in a row.
Equipo de Inglés
Used to describe any Spanish team that gets knocked out of a competition on penalties.
la gente esta muy loca
The referee has gone crazy
“Defensively oriented”, but only ever used as an insult.
A team with a mix of players and no real star.
Paella de Cinco Minutos
A “paella” team that also lacks a coherent tactical plan or set up for a match.
A manager seeking to emulate the style of Guardiola, but with much less success.
A player or manager who doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Response when something happens you can neither predict or control, usually accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders.
A player prone to small moments of artistry, but who is not a game changer or star.