All across the globe, people have been going football crazy as the World Cup is underway. The biggest sporting event in the world goes by several names in Spanish – La Copa del Mundo, La Copa Mundial, o simplemente Mundial. This year the World Cup is being held in Russia for the first time ever. Learn how to talk about the big tournament en español by learning some Spanish World Cup vocabulary.
Spanish World Cup Vocabulary List
La Copa Mundial se realiza cada cuatro años desde 1930, con la excepción de los años de 1942 y 1946, en una sede definida con anticipación en la que participan 32 equipos durante un periodo cercano a un mes.
(The World Cup is held every four years since 1930, with the exception of the years 1942 and 1946, in a pre-defined venue in which 32 teams participate for a period of around one month.)
Get talking about football and the World Cup in Spanish with this great vocabulary list!
la Copa del Mundo/el Mundial
el futbolista/el jugador
el entrenador/el técnico
marcar/meter un gol
una patada/un tiro
el saque de salida
el saque de banda
la tarjeta amarilla
la tarjeta roja
fuera de juego
el saque de esquina
el tiro libre
el primer tiempo
el segundo tiempo
lanzamiento de penaltis
to score a goal
a great goal
a corner kick
a free kick
the first half
the second half
Spanish-Speaking Countries in the World Cup
While 8 of the 32 teams that qualified were from Spanish-speaking countries, only one remains. Uruguay hope to stay alive against France as they seek to win their third World Cup. The South American nation hosted and won the first ever World Cup in 1930 and won again in 1950. ¡Vamos Uruguay!
Neither Panama nor Costa Rica were able to get out of the group stage. Panama made its first-ever appearance in the World Cup this time, but they had a tough group with both England and Belgium. Costa Rica showed some heart, but were unable to get a win in the group stage.
Mexico suffered defeat at the hands of Brazil, making their World Cup exit in the round of 16 for the 7th time in a row. This after they stunned Germany in a 1-0 victory in Moscow. I was fortunate enough to attend this game, and it was a highlight of my World Cup trip to Russia. Maybe next time they’ll break the streak and make it to the quarter finals.
Colombia’s World Cup started off on the wrong foot, as they got a red card in the first few minutes of their game against Japan and went on to lose 2-1. They still managed to get out of their group and nearly upset England. Their goal in the 93rd minute sent the game to extra time, but Los Cafeteros fell to the Brits 4-3 in penalty kicks.
Argentina entered the World Cup as one of the favorites to win it all. Things got off to a rocky start when they played to a draw with Iceland in their first game. Messi was unable to hit a penalty kick that would have given his team the win. They managed to make it out of the group stage, but went down 4-3 to France.
Perhaps the biggest upset of all was Spain getting knocked out by the host country. They lost on penalty kicks to Russia in one of the most shocking World Cup games ever. This has been a year of surprises and upsets, making for a very exciting tournament. Now that we’re down to the quarter finals, I’d like to know…
¿De qué equipo eres?
What team do you support?
About the Author:sasha
Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they’re currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.
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