Russia welcomes you to the FIFA World Cup™ this summer. If you want to understand football fans in the country try to learn these words.
How to call fans
1. Bolelschik [болельщик] – this is the Russian term for a football fan. Or you can call him fanat [фанат] – the same meaning. These two words can be used without fear of causing offense. But you probably won’t hear such words among the fans, they are more likely to call each other aktsionery [акционеры] – “shareholders.”
2. Aggressive fans are called hooligans [хулиганы] or khuls [хулс] for short.
3. If a fan is young other people may call him fantomas [фантомас]. But if he is experienced, he’s called starik [старик] – a senior man.
Who’s who on a football field
4. Arbitr [арбитр] or sudya [судья] – referee
5. Vratar [вратарь] – goalkeeper
6. Zaschitnik [защитник] – defender (centreback, sweeper, fullback, and wingback – they all are called the same name).
7. Poluzaschitnik [полузащитник] – midfielder
8. Napadayuschy [нападающий] – forward
9. Myach [мяч] – a ball.
10. Vorota [ворота] - football goal. Some fans call the goal net avoska [aвоська] – “string bag.”
15. Za kogo vy boleete? [за кого вы болеете] – Which team do you support?
16. Match [матч] is an international word, in Russian it reads like in English. The World Cup is also called mundial [мундиаль].
17. Vata [вата] – literally “cotton.” This is how fans call a match without any
18. Sukhar [сухарь] – “rusk.” A match in which one goalkeeper saves all shots on target, while his opposite man fails to save any shots - so the match ends up a very
19. Gol v
20. Babochka [бабочка] – “butterfly.” An unsuccessful jump by the goalkeeper while waving his hands in an attempt to catch the ball.
21. Gorchichnik [горчичник] – “mustard plaster.” This is what fans call a yellow card.
23. Podval [подвал] – “basement.” The lower end of the tournament table. Indeed, the high top of the table is called
24. Champion [чемпион] – the winner!
25. Gol [гол] – Goal!
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