Hard: Take one for the team
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.
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 to take one for the team.
You can find more lessons on the side of this page.
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: take one for the team.
Jack: We’re going to look at how this idiom is used on the football pitch and outside of football.
Rich: It has the same meaning in both contexts but we’ll give you a couple of different examples.
Jack: OK, so to take one for the team is an informal phrase that basically means to do something unpleasant or give up something that is important to you for the benefit of friends or colleagues.
Rich: When we’re thinking about football the phrase is often used by commentators. I can think of one example that I hear quite frequently
Jack: What’s that then?
Rich: Well, when you see a tactical foul on the pitch.
Jack: You mean a deliberate foul.
Rich: OK, a deliberate foul but a tactical foul has a more positive meaning and the commentator often uses the phrase in a positive way because he or she thinks it was the logical thing to do.
Jack: What do you mean?
Rich: Well, sometimes the only way to stop a dangerous attack is by fouling an opponent.
Jack: And the referee will show a yellow or even a red card.
Rich: Yes, it’s something unpleasant for the player but it benefitted the team because it stopped a possible goal.
Jack: So the player takes one for the team.
Rich: The phrase can be used more generally, too. Let’s imagine a few situations.
Jack: Right, there are five friends and only four spaces in the car. They have to go to training and it’s raining.
Rich: All right, all right. I’ll take one for the team. I’ll get the bus.
Jack: OK, there’s lots of work to do in the office but there is a party that everyone is going to.
Rich: It’s all right. I’ll take one for the team. I’ll finish up here and catch you up at the party later.
Jack: One final one, there are three tickets for the Liverpool Manchester United match …
Rich: No way! You can take one for the team for a change.
Jack: There is the final whistle!
Rich: We’ll be back soon with more Premier Vocabulary from Premier Skills English.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
Can you tell us a situation when you had to take one for the team?
Are tactical fouls a good or bad part of the game?