1. “Allez, Les Bleus!” (Go, the Blues)
The French refer to their national soccer team as Les Bleus (the Blues), which is actually the nickname of all of France’s international sporting teams who all wear the blue colors.
2. “Mais c’est pas possible, quel nul!” (That’s not possible, what a loser!)
You’ll hear frequently if the French team ends up delivering a lackluster performance.
3. “Arbitre!” (Referee!)
Pay attention to the hint of injustice in the delivery punctuated by a long ending: “arbitreeeeeeu.”
4. “Il pue le foot” (He reeks of soccer)
The sentence is actually rather new and was first used last year by former Olympique Marseilleteam member Dimitri Payet to sing praises of his replacement at the club, Abdelaziz Barrada. Payet, who now plays with West Ham, went on to say that, unlike him, Barrada “is a real ten”. He reeks of soccer. He sees the game before anyone else and has good passing skills. He may lack a bit in speed, but that’s typical of a true ten.” If that’s not nice, we don’t now what it is.
5. “Un Figurant” (An extra)
Calling someone an “extra” is a harsh way of saying that the player is so bad, that they’re just decorating the ground and might as well not even be there.
6. “Avale ton sifflet” (Swallow your whistle!)
This is how French soccer fans like to call out a questionable referee. Literally urging him to “swallow his whistle”, this expression is yet another confirmation that to be a referee is the most dangerous job on the field. Beware not to get too close to French soccer aficionados when you hear these words, especially if you’re rooting for the opposing team.
7. “Mais quelle pépite!” (What a beautiful goal!)
When looking for a colorful way to describe a spectacular goal, you’ll often catch commentators saying it is une pépite, literally, a gold nugget.
8. “Il a planté sa tente” (a striker who is always offside)
Supporters loathe players who pitch their tent: they’re the kind of players who somehow are always staying in the front or are offside (read, to whom you can never make a pass).
9. “Un champs de patate” (a bad ground)
You may not hear this particular phrase during the Euro 2016 since France renovated most of its stadiums, but it’s still an expression to know.
This is a jazzy expression that players often use to complain about the difficult conditions they have to deal when playing on the field. Literally meaning “a potato field”, the phrase refers to a poorly leveled grass, an uneven ground, or anything that tends to get in the way of a good match.
10. “Il a allumé le gardien” (he scored from afar)
Literally translating to “light off the goalkeeper”, this is how the French describe a player who took a goalkeeper by surprise and managed to score, generally from a distance.