World Cup Cliche Collection

Soccer cliches in general, actually, but edifying on this off day.

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One famous cliché comes from Johan Cruijff: “Elk nadeel heb z’n voordeel” or “There is an advantage in each disadvantage” or “a disadvantage creates new opportunities you can use to your advantage”. – Guy

The Romanian soccer culture uses a ton of cliches, and, interesting enough, some of them are shared not only by the TV commentators, but by the regular aficionados too.
Whenever you are asked about your expectation regarding, e.g., Spain – Saudi Arabia, you will say that 4-0 is a reasonable score, but you will end up wisely with “Mingea e rotunda”, translated “The ball is round”, meaning that in football one should never be 100% sure.
Another funny thing that we keep hearing is that “2-0 is the most dangerous score”, meaning that teams leading with 2-0 are the most susceptible to leave their guard off. Of course, each 7-0 is at one time 2-0, and although the result is obvious in these games, we keep laughing about the 2-0 danger as long as it’s not 3-0 yet.
Another cliche related to the 1999 CL final is the saying that somebody famous probably originated. It says “Pe germani nu poti fi sigur ca i-ai batut pina nu i-ai urcat in avion”, translated “One cannot be sure he defeated the Germans until he accompanies them to the airplane”. – Luci Sandor

The Portuguese also say “a bola é redonda,” i.e. “the ball is round.” the other famous one is “previsões só depois do jogo” — a Berra-esque phrase indeed: “predictions only after the game’s finished.” – etb

Cruyf again: “om te kunnen scoren moet je schieten”: to be able to score you need to shoot.
Is logisch. – Martin Wisse

Here’s a good old English football cliché: “It’s a game of two halves.”
Which, I think, means that what happens in the second half could be the complete opposite of what happened in the first. – Gag Halfrunt

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