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Juan Mata.

Hard: The eye of a needle

Hard: The eye of a needle

Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time. We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.

This episode is hard so we’re looking at more difficult football phrases and idioms.

Summary

Learn more football vocabulary with Premier Skills English. Each lesson in our Premier Vocabulary section looks at one football word or phrase. This lesson looks at the phrase the eye of a needle

You can find more lessons on the side of this page.

Transcript

Rich: Hello my name’s Rich and welcome to Premier Skills English - Premier Vocabulary.

Jack: Hi there! I’m Jack. We’re here to help you with your football English. Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time. 

Rich: We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.

Jack: This episode is hard so we’re looking at more difficult football phrases and idioms. 


Rich: The phrase we are looking at in this episode is: eye of a needle.

Jack: The phrase is very old and translations of the phrase can be found in Jewish, Christian and Islamic texts.

Rich: The phrase is used as a metaphor - a metaphor is a figure of speech that can help explain an idea or make a comparison.

Jack: The eye of a needle is a metaphor used to describe a very narrow opening. 

Rich: A needle is what we use for sewing - for sewing clothes. It’s a small piece of metal with a sharp point at one end and a tiny little hole at the other to put the thread.

Jack: This tiny little hole is called the eye. The eye of the needle.

Rich: I tried sewing once but after an hour of trying to put the thread through the eye of the needle I gave up and I asked my mum for some help.

Jack: Yes, it a very small gap. A very narrow opening and something that can be very difficult or for some impossible.

Rich: Both the Quran and the Bible use the phrase in a similar way. They talk about a camel going through the eye of a needle.

Jack: Well, that would be impossible!

Rich: Yes, exactly and that’s why the phrase is used. Let’s have a look at how the phrase is used in football.


Jack: We’ve talked about the eye of a needle being a very narrow opening and something that is very difficult or impossible to pass through.

Rich: The phrase is usually used in football to describe a pass that is very difficult to make successfully especially when there are a lot of opposition defenders around.

Jack: Creative players like David Silva and Juan Mata are often able to put the ball through the eye of a needle.

Rich: They are able to find little spaces to pass the ball to a teammate and create chances to score when there are lots of defenders and little space available.

Jack: Going back to the sewing metaphor we often hear the verb thread when we hear this phrase - the thread is the thin string of cotton we use when sewing and the verb is what we do when we pass something long and thin through a narrow gap or hole.

Rich: A good player can thread the ball through the eye of a needle.

Jack: Manchester United’s Bobby Charlton once famously said this about the French player, Michel Platini. Charlton said that Platini could thread the ball through the eye of a needle.

Rich: But that’s impossible!

Jack: Not for some players.


Rich: There is the final whistle!

Jack: We’ll be back soon with more Premier Vocabulary from Premier Skills English.

Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football.

Comment

Discuss

Who can thread a pass through the eye of a needle?

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Comments

Mekahlla
31/08/2020
MR
33
points

Although this is one of difficult football case, Kivin de Bryene and Messi in Barcelona can put the ball through the eye of a needle


Mekahlla
31/08/2020 23:24
Mauritania
Liverpool
33

Although this is one of difficult football case, Kivin de Bryene and Messi in Barcelona can put the ball through the eye of a needle

Fjchaves1991
31/08/2020
BR
149
points

Sure, Kevin De Bruyne can thread easily a pass through the eye of a needle.


Fjchaves1991
31/08/2020 15:46
Brazil
Liverpool
149

Sure, Kevin De Bruyne can thread easily a pass through the eye of a needle.

Daniel_Baron1503's picture
Daniel_Baron1503
30/08/2020
CO
62
points

I´d add to Mesut Özil in his best moment with David Silva and Juan Mata.
And currently Kevin de Bruyne can put the ball through the eye of a needle.


Daniel_Baron1503's picture
Daniel_Baron1503
30/08/2020 06:05
Colombia
Chelsea
62

I´d add to Mesut Özil in his best moment with David Silva and Juan Mata.
And currently Kevin de Bruyne can put the ball through the eye of a needle.

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
29/08/2020
TR
5191
points

I think players like David Beckham , Paul Scholes , Mesut Ozil and Xavi Hernandez are the best who can thread a pass through the eye of a needle.


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
29/08/2020 19:03
Turkey
Manchester United
5191

I think players like David Beckham , Paul Scholes , Mesut Ozil and Xavi Hernandez are the best who can thread a pass through the eye of a needle.

Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
28/08/2020
UA
5200
points

Three days ago repairing my backpack I took a needle with a very big eye. Then I put a very thin thread through the needle and lo - my pass was quite perfect and work easily and quickly done. :-)


Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
28/08/2020 08:50
Ukraine
Liverpool
5200

Three days ago repairing my backpack I took a needle with a very big eye. Then I put a very thin thread through the needle and lo - my pass was quite perfect and work easily and quickly done. :-)

Rich's picture
Rich
28/08/2020
ES
504
points

Haha! It would be much easier if needles always had big eyes!


Rich's picture
Rich
28/08/2020 11:55
Spain
Liverpool
504

Haha! It would be much easier if needles always had big eyes!

Robert Tavares's picture
Robert Tavares
27/08/2020
BR
174
points

There was some new word for me.
Cool.


Robert Tavares's picture
Robert Tavares
27/08/2020 20:34
Brazil
Leeds United
174

There was some new word for me.
Cool.

Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
27/08/2020
UA
5200
points

Michel can.


Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
27/08/2020 16:52
Ukraine
Liverpool
5200

Michel can.

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1Alex_from_Ukraine5200
2mobeckham5191
3kwesimanifest4754
4wsanta4491
5Liubomyr4053
6elghoul3793
7assemjuve3705
8aragorn19863557
9Gergő Nagy3381
10haydi3189
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia70932
2Ukraine32002
3Serbia27042
4Spain22340
5Albania20475
6Macedonia19059
7Brazil16603
8Bosnia and Herzegovina16268
9Vietnam15232
10Armenia13667
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United133322
2Liverpool89113
3Chelsea77339
4Arsenal71073
5Manchester City43855
6Leicester City11681
7Tottenham Hotspur11341
8Newcastle United9374
9West Ham United4964
10Leeds United4678

Level

5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Goals

Learn more football vocabulary.