What does ‘tiki-taka’ mean? AP has you covered on World Cup terms

If you have no idea what terms like “false nine” and “zonal marking” mean, the AP has your back throughout the World Cup. That’s good news for American editors on deadline (and maybe even for journalists at a bar with the AP Style app handy).

Here’s the top of an advisory the AP sent to editors:

Does this sentence mean anything to you?

Using its famed “tiki-taka” approach, Spain is deploying a 4-2-3-1 formation with a false nine to try to break down Italy’s trademark “catenaccio” defense.

If it seems obscure, don’t worry. The Associated Press compiled a summary of these and other soccer idioms likely to be heard during the ongoing World Cup in Brazil.

One notable omission in the AP’s World Cup Style Guide: How many “o”s in “gooooal”? But Poynter’s Kristen Hare looked into that one last week, and here’s what Michael Giarrusso, AP’s global sports editor, told her:

“When Latin American announcers yell and stretch out the word goal, our recommendation is to add extra Os and exclamation points based on the duration and the volume of the scream. ‘Gooooal!’ would be a rather subtle yell. But, if Mexico were to score late in an important game, I could imagine a ‘Gooooooooooal!!!’”

More World Cup fun:


Related: How many ‘o’s in ‘Goooooal’? Editors prepare for World Cup

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.

  • MellissaKillenyko

    just before I looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I didn’t believe that my
    sister woz like actualy bringing in money part-time from there pretty old
    laptop. . there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only about 22 months and
    at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and bought themselves a
    Chrysler . see here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­