Football Guide

Football Glossary, Letter L

Football terms alphabetical index


A letter in statistics which indicates a loss

Last defender

The last field player nearest to the goal

Last-minute goal

A goal scored just when a match is about to end

Late tackle

A risky challenge where a player tackles an opponent after the ball is already passed; punishable with a red card

Laws of the Game

The official term for the rules of football: FIFA has 17 Laws of the Game that are followed internationally


A competition format in which the team that earns the most number of points at the end wins; in a league, a win rewarded with three points, a draw is worth one point, and none for a loss; also called, division, table, championship 

League Cup

Officially, the Football League Cup: a knockout tournament played among professional teams in England and Wales; typically held from June to February

Left back

A defensive player positioned on the left-hand side of his goalkeeper

Left winger

A midfield player who plays along the left-hand side of the pitch


(a) A player who is more capable with his left foot;
(b) A shot or pass made with the left foot


A player positioned behind the defensive life whose primary tasks are to protect the keeper and pick up loose balls; liberos are rarely used in modern football but were popular with the catenaccio system in the 1960s

Libertadores Cup

Formally, Copa Santander Libertadores: an annual competition of South American football clubs; this tournament is one of the biggest club football tournaments in the world


A former term for the assistant football referee; in football games there are two linesmen who monitor offsides and throw-ins and help the head referee in decision-making


A former term for a female assistant referee


Short reference to the starting line up, the set of players that start a football match and are expected to play most of the match


A kick which launches the ball high in the air, often used to beat a keeper who goes far from the goal; also called loft or chip


Alternate term for a lob, a ball kicked so it goes high in the air

Lofted pass

A pass struck high in the air so it is beyond the reach of opposing players 

Long ball

A long pass, such as ones made by a defender to a striker

Long ball game

A counter-attacking strategy in soccer characterized by long passes to the forwards

Long shot

A shot towards the goal that is taken from a long distance


A team suffers a loss when its opponent scores more goal at the end of the match; a loss is awarded no point in competitions while a win is worth three

Lost the dressing room

A term which describes a manager in a situation where he has lost the confidence of players and is about to be fired; “dressing room” is an idiom which refers to the players of a team 


A troublesome and violent fan