Using Loanwords and Technical Metaphors in the Language of Calcio

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There is a sharp difference between football as a physical activity and so-called football talk. Football-related discourse does not imply the sole description of on-the pitch events: indeed, the language of football embraces a wide range of situations that in the past were only considered surrounding circumstances, but that currently represent an essential part of that melting pot made up of words and communicative events. These interactions are generated by an ever-growing audience worldwide, encompassing a vast range of connotations dealing with the “Beautiful Game.” Language acts that refer to sport achievements can be analysed on different levels, considering all written, spoken, and hybrid interactions that focus on football events. Does a proper language of football exist? How is football communication conveyed? Football can be considered a specialised field; likewise, it generates a specialised lexis and a well-defined syntax. Nevertheless, this language also draws on shared experiences in order to create images that prove to be crucial to describe or narrate this sport. This article sheds light on these language-related elements by providing examples involving the language of football in Italy, which is part of a global phenomenon that goes beyond ethnic, social, cultural, or geographical differences.