Gringoes > Culture > Brazilian Football Culture: Slangs and Expressions
Brazilian Football Culture: Slangs and Expressions
By Pedro Souza
May 22, 2017

Football plays an important part in Brazilian culture and life. This can be observed in the kids playing a match in the streets, in the television in the bar displaying a game and when cities erupt in cheers and fireworks when a famous team scores a goal. Being as involved with football as Brazilians are, they have developed a rich vocabulary that deals with the sport. Below, we have made a compilation of football slangs and expressions for you.

Banheira (Bathtub): A player is in a “banheira” when he stays in the offensive and does not return to the defense when the opposing team has the ball.
Bicanca: A kick delivered with the tip of the foot.
Mala preta (black bag): A “mala preta” is a gratification that a soccer club might offer to a team’s players as an extra incentive. This is also known as a “suborn branco” (white bribe).
Cavar uma falta (to dig a penalty): A player is “digging a penalty” when he fakes a situation to make a player from the other team get penalized.
Arqueiro (archer): A slang for goalkeeper.
Torpedo/Missile: A really strong kick is often called a “torpedo” or a “míssel” (missile).
No pau! (In the stick): An expression often used by narrators when the ball hits the goal post.
Chapéu (hat): A “chapéu” is a maneuver where a player dribbles another player by making the ball go over his head.
Golaço: An impressive goal is often called a “golaço” in Brazil.
Molhar a camisa (to wet the shirt): When a player puts a lot of effort in a game, it can be said that he is “wetting his shirt”.
Pé torto (crooked food): A player that misses to many passes is often called a “pé torto”.
Gol do meio de rua (goal from the middle of the street): A goal that is scored from a considerable distance if often called a “gol do meio de rua”.
Bola envenenada (poisoned ball): When a player kicks towards the goal a ball that is tricky to catch, it is often called a “poisoned ball”.
Camisa 12 (Shirt number 12): An expression for the people cheering for a team.
Frango (chicken): A bad goalie is often called a “chicken”.
Firula: An unnecessary maneuver done to humiliate an opponent.
Figura (figure): An important player.
Chavecar: To “chavecar” is to underestimate or belittle an opponent.
Carrinho (little car): When a player throws himself on the ground while trying to hit the ball or the opponent’s shins with his foot.
Botar pra naná (To put to sleep): When a player makes the goalie jump towards one side of the goal and scores kicking by kicking the ball towards the other side during the penalties, he has put the golie “to sleep”.
Craque: A popular expression for a really good player.
Desarmar (to disarm): To take the ball from a player from another team.
Ladrão (thief): A player that catches an opponent unaware and suddenly takes the ball away from him.
Matador (killer): A player that often finishes his plays with a goal.
Perna de pau (wooden leg): A player that has bad control of the ball.
Pelada (naked): An informal and carefree match.

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