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Spain King Welcomes Soccer Heroes Home (3rd July, 2012)


 

Tens of thousands of jubilant fans turned out in the streets of the Spanish capital Madrid on Monday to welcome home the national football team after their record-breaking victory at the Euro 2012 tournament. Spain's King Juan Carlos greeted the team at Madrid's Zarzuela Palace. He told them: "Each of you is a good player, but as a team you are formidable…You know how to play together, how to combine your own skills with those of your teammates." The team then headed off through the streets on an open-top bus for their victory parade. It seemed as though the city had been turned red and yellow as the bus made its way through the capital. Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas said: "It's one of the best days of my life."

Spain's 4-0 thrashing of Italy in the final in Kiev on Sunday made them the first ever team to win three successive major international tournaments. They won the World Cup in 2010 and have now become the first nation to successfully defend a European Championship. Their winning margin on Sunday was the biggest ever for a Euro final. Spain became the first team to win 15 straight competitive fixtures and matched Brazil's record 35-game unbeaten run from the 1990s. They also qualified for the last two major tournaments, winning every game they played. Many soccer analysts are now saying the team is the greatest ever and they could win the 2014 World Cup, for four in a row.

WARM-UPS

1. FOOTBALL (SOCCER): Walk around the class and talk to other students about football (soccer). Change partners often. Share your findings with your first partner.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

jubilant / record-breaking / victory / formidable / play together / parade / midfielder / thrashing / successive / tournaments / defend / winning margin / unbeaten / analysts

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. THE BEST: Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

The best ever …

What? / Who?

Why?

soccer team

 

 

game

 

 

athlete / sports star

 

 

fashion item

 

 

book

 

 

movie

 

 

4. SPAIN: Students A strongly believe the current Spanish team is the best football team ever; Students B strongly believe not.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. SPORT: Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put your favourite at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • football (soccer)
  • American football
  • cricket
  • baseball
  • basketball
  • tennis
  • athletics
  • Formula 1 motor racing

6. FANS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word 'fans'. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

A million Spanish fans lined the streets to see their football heroes.

T / F

b.

The Spanish King welcomed the team in Madrid's city hall.

T / F

c.

The king said the team was formidable.

T / F

d.

The team went on a parade of the city in open-top Rolls Royce cars.

T / F

e.

The second paragraph has a word that suggests Spain easily beat Italy.

T / F

f.

No other team bust Spain has successfully defended a Euro title.

T / F

g.

Spain is yet to reach Brazil's amazing 35-game unbeaten run.

T / F

h.

Soccer experts say Spain's team is the best ever.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

jubilant

a.

mighty

2.

victory

b.

experts

3.

formidable

c.

appeared

4.

combine

d.

matches / games

5.

seemed

e.

overjoyed

6.

thrashing

f.

consecutive; in a row

7.

successive

g.

triumph

8.

defend

h.

blend

9.

fixtures

i.

mauling

10.

analysts

j.

safeguard

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

Tens of thousands of jubilant

a.

off through the streets

2.

as a team you are

b.

competitive fixtures

3.

The team then headed

c.

way through the capital

4.

as though the city had been

d.

unbeaten run

5.

the bus made its

e.

of Italy

6.

Spain's 4-0 thrashing

f.

turned red and yellow

7.

successfully defend a

g.

a row

8.

win 15 straight

h.

fans

9.

Brazil's record 35-game

i.

European Championship

10.

four in

j.

formidable


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Tens of thousands of (1) ____________ fans turned                 (2) ____________ in the streets of the Spanish capital Madrid on Monday to welcome home the national football team after their record-breaking (3) ____________ at the Euro 2012 tournament. Spain's King Juan Carlos greeted the team at Madrid's Zarzuela Palace. He told them: "Each of you is a good player, but as a team you are (4) ____________ …You know how to play together, how to (5) ____________ your own skills with those of your teammates." The team then (6) ____________ off through the streets on an open-top bus for their victory (7) ____________. It seemed as though the city had been turned red and yellow as the bus made its (8) ____________ through the capital. Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas said: "It's one of the best days of my life."

 

 

 

formidable
parade
headed
out
jubilant
way
victory
combine

Spain's 4-0 (9) ____________ of Italy in the final in Kiev on Sunday made them the first ever team to win three (10) ____________ major international tournaments. They won the World Cup in 2010 and have now become the first nation to successfully (11) ____________ a European Championship. Their winning (12) ____________ on Sunday was the biggest ever for a Euro final. Spain became the first team to win 15 straight (13) ____________ fixtures and matched Brazil's record 35-game unbeaten run from the 1990s. They also (14) ____________ for the last two major tournaments, winning every game they played. Many soccer (15) ____________ are now saying the team is the greatest ever and they could win the 2014 World Cup, for four in a (16) ____________.

 

 

defend
row
margin
analysts
thrashing
successive
competitive
qualified

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Tens of thousands of (1) ___________________ out in the streets of the Spanish capital Madrid on Monday to welcome home the national football team after their (2) ___________________ at the Euro 2012 tournament. Spain's King Juan Carlos greeted the team at Madrid's Zarzuela Palace. He told them: "Each of you is a good player, (3) ___________________ are formidable…You know how to play together, (4) ___________________ your own skills with those of your teammates." The team then headed off through the streets on an open-top bus for (5) ___________________. It seemed as though the city had been turned red and yellow as the bus (6) ___________________ the capital. Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas said: "It's one of the best days of my life."

Spain's 4-0 (7) ___________________ the final in Kiev on Sunday made them the first ever team to win three (8) ___________________ international tournaments. They won the World Cup in 2010 and have now become the first nation to (9) ___________________ a European Championship. Their winning margin on Sunday was the biggest ever for a Euro final. Spain became the first team (10) ___________________ competitive fixtures and matched Brazil's record 35-game unbeaten run from the 1990s. They also (11) ___________________  last two major tournaments, winning every game they played. Many soccer analysts are now saying the team is the greatest ever and they could win the 2014 World Cup, (12) ___________________.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words 'team' and 'mate'.

team

mate

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • fans
  • home
  • each
  • formidable
  • bus
  • best
  • final
  • major
  • margin
  • 15
  • 35
  • 2014

FOOTBALL (SOCCER) SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about football (soccer) in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.


 
 

FOOTBALL (SOCCER) DISCUSSION

STUDENT A's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word 'football'?

c)

Do you think football is the best sport in the world?

d)

What do you think of Spain's success at Euro 2012?

e)

Why is football (soccer) the world's most popular sport?

f)

Why do you think some people dislike soccer?

g)

Is a soccer tournament victory important enough for a king to break his schedule and greet the winning team?

h)

What does it take for a team to be formidable?

i)

What would it be like to be a player in the victory parade on the open-top bus?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you think of Spain's record of three tournament wins in a row?

c)

How impressive is a 4-0 winning margin in a major final?

d)

Is it right to compare teams from different decades?

e)

How much is soccer teamwork and how much is it the skill of individual players?

f)

Where do you think Spain will go from here?

g)

What are the chances of Spain winning the 2014 World Cup? Would you like to see them do it?

h)

What do you think is the greatest sports team ever?

i)

What questions would you like to ask Spain's coach?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Tens of thousands of (1) ____ fans turned out in the streets of the Spanish capital Madrid on Monday to welcome home the national football team after their record-(2) ____ victory at the Euro 2012 tournament. Spain's King Juan Carlos greeted the team at Madrid's Zarzuela Palace. He told them: "Each of you is a good player, but as a team you are (3) ____ …You know how to play together, how to combine your own skills with those of your teammates." The team then (4) ____ off through the streets on an open-top bus for their victory (5) ____. It seemed as though the city had been turned red and yellow as the bus made its (6) ____ through the capital. Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas said: "It's one of the best days of my life."

Spain's 4-0 thrashing of Italy in the final in Kiev on Sunday made them the first ever team to win three (7) ____ major international tournaments. They won the World Cup in 2010 and have now become the first nation to successfully defend a European Championship. Their winning (8) ____ on Sunday was the biggest ever for a Euro final. Spain became the first team to win 15 (9) ____ competitive fixtures and (10) ____ Brazil's record 35-game unbeaten run from the 1990s. They also qualified for the last two major tournaments, winning every game they played. Many soccer (11) ____ are now saying the team is the greatest ever and they could win the 2014 World Cup, for four in a (12) ____.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

jubilation

(b)

jubilee

(c)

grubby

(d)

jubilant

2.

(a)

contravening

(b)

breaking

(c)

pausing

(d)

fracturing

3.

(a)

formidable

(b)

formalities

(c)

formless

(d)

formula

4.

(a)

backed

(b)

nosed

(c)

headed

(d)

stomached

5.

(a)

sensor

(b)

exhaust

(c)

parade

(d)

merchandise

6.

(a)

weight

(b)

way

(c)

wry

(d)

wish

7.

(a)

successive

(b)

repressive

(c)

missive

(d)

excessive

8.

(a)

border

(b)

error

(c)

edge

(d)

margin

9.

(a)

curly

(b)

straight

(c)

bent

(d)

curved

10.

(a)

battled

(b)

marched

(c)

fought

(d)

matched

11.

(a)

analysis

(b)

analytics

(c)

analysts

(d)

analyses

12.

(a)

row

(b)

how

(c)

low

(d)

now


 
 

WRITING

Write about football (soccer) for 10 minutes. Correct your partner's paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about the Euro 2012 football championship. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. FOOTBALL (SOCCER): Make a poster about football (soccer). Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. SPAIN: Write a magazine article about Spain's football team. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against the idea this Spanish team is the best ever.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the Spanish coach. Ask him three questions about his team. Give him three of your opinions on it. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

F

c.

T

d.

F

e.

T

f.

T

g.

F

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

jubilant

a.

overjoyed

2.

victory

b.

triumph

3.

formidable

c.

mighty

4.

combine

d.

blend

5.

seemed

e.

appeared

6.

thrashing

f.

mauling

7.

successive

g.

consecutive; in a row

8.

defend

h.

safeguard

9.

fixtures

i.

matches / games

10.

analysts

j.

experts

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Tens of thousands of jubilant

a.

fans

2.

as a team you are

b.

formidable

3.

The team then headed

c.

off through the streets

4.

as though the city had been

d.

turned red and yellow

5.

the bus made its

e.

way through the capital

6.

Spain's 4-0 thrashing

f.

of Italy

7.

successfully defend a

g.

European Championship

8.

win 15 straight

h.

competitive fixtures

9.

Brazil's record 35-game

i.

unbeaten run

10.

four in

j.

a row

GAP FILL:

Spain king welcomes soccer heroes home

Tens of thousands of (1) jubilant fans turned (2) out in the streets of the Spanish capital Madrid on Monday to welcome home the national football team after their record-breaking (3) victory at the Euro 2012 tournament. Spain's King Juan Carlos greeted the team at Madrid's Zarzuela Palace. He told them: "Each of you is a good player, but as a team you are (4) formidable…You know how to play together, how to (5) combine your own skills with those of your teammates." The team then (6) headed off through the streets on an open-top bus for their victory (7) parade. It seemed as though the city had been turned red and yellow as the bus made its (8) way through the capital. Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas said: "It's one of the best days of my life."

Spain's 4-0 (9) thrashing of Italy in the final in Kiev on Sunday made them the first ever team to win three (10) successive major international tournaments. They won the World Cup in 2010 and have now become the first nation to successfully (11) defend a European Championship. Their winning (12) margin on Sunday was the biggest ever for a Euro final. Spain became the first team to win 15 straight (13) competitive fixtures and matched Brazil's record 35-game unbeaten run from the 1990s. They also (14) qualified for the last two major tournaments, winning every game they played. Many soccer (15) analysts are now saying the team is the greatest ever and they could win the 2014 World Cup, for four in a (16) row.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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