World Cup in Chinese – The Quick Vocabulary Guide

World Cup in Chinese

Every four years, millions of people across China, like the rest of the world, gather in front of TV screens to watch the FIFA World Cup – the biggest sporting event on the planet! 

If you want to talk about the World Cup with the locals and put your Mandarin Chinese skills to the test, you’ve come to the right place!  

Whether you’re a die-hard football (soccer) fan, or you’re a newbie to the sport, you’ll feel so much more involved if you’re well-versed in World Cup lingo, no matter which team you root for! In this post, we’ve compiled a list of the most essential Chinese words and phrases regarding the World Cup, followed by example sentences to help you talk about the tournament in Chinese.

Let’s kick things off!

“World Cup” in Chinese

First and foremost, let’s learn how to say “World Cup” in Chinese.

The word for “World Cup” in Mandarin Chinese is 世界杯 (shìjiè bēi). It’s a combination of two very basic Chinese words: 世界 (shìjiè), which means “world”, and 杯 (bēi), which means “cup”.

Pay attention to its corresponding measure word. The measure word for the World Cup is 届 (jiè). It might not be one of the most common measure words in Chinese but is customarily used for sports tournaments like the World Cup.

For example,

  • 这届/本届世界杯
    this Word Cup
    zhè jiè / běn jiè shìjiè bēi
  • 三届世界杯
    sān jiè shìjiè bēi
    three World Cups
  • 上届世界杯
    shàng jiè shìjiè bēi
    the last World Cup
  • 下届奥运会
    xià jiè àoyùn huì
    the next Olympic Games

Chinese Names for the Countries Playing in the World Cup

World Cup nations in Chinese

Every World Cup sees 32 top national teams compete for the title of football world champions (48 teams in 2026). Let’s get on with a list of the countries with frequent World Cup appearances in Chinese.

  • 巴西 (Bā xī / Brazil)
  • 阿根廷 (Ā gēn tíng / Argentina)
  • 乌拉圭 (Wū lā guī / Uruguay)
  • 美国 (Měi guó / USA)
  • 墨西哥 (Mò xī gē / Mexico)
  • 德国 (Dé guó / Germany)
  • 法国 (Fǎ guó / France)
  • 英格兰 (Yīng gé lán / England)
  • 意大利 (Yì dà lì / Italy)
  • 西班牙 (Xī bān yá / Spain)
  • 葡萄牙 (Pú táo yá / Portugal)
  • 荷兰 (Hé lán / Netherlands)
  • 比利时 (Bǐ lì shí / Belgium)
  • 瑞典 (Ruì diǎn / Sweden)
  • 瑞士 (Ruì shì / Switzerland)
  • 俄罗斯 (É luó sī / Russia)
  • 塞尔维亚 (Sài ěr wéi yà / Serbia)
  • 摩洛哥 (Mó luò gē / Morocco)
  • 喀麦隆 (Kā mài lóng / Cameron)
  • 日本 (Rì běn / Japan)
  • 韩国 (Hán guó / Korea)
  • 沙特阿拉伯 (Shā tè ā lā bó / Saudi Arabia)
  • 伊朗 (Yī lǎng / Iran)
  • 澳大利亚 (Ào dà lì yà / Australia)

FYI, China (中国/Zhōng guó) has played once in the World Cup, and that was in 2002 when it lost all three games and failed to score a single goal. The appearance, however, was monumental. 

China vs Brazil in World Cup 2002

Interested in learning more Chinese country names? Here’s the full list of 197 country names in Chinese plus their abbreviations.  

World Cup Vocabulary in Chinese

Ready to brush up on your vocabulary in Chinese? World Cup fans and football newbies alike will enjoy this awesome vocabulary list! 

If you want to branch out beyond football, we also have a general post on sports in Chinese. For now, check out the following sections broken down by category so you can talk all about the World Cup in Chinese!

General World Cup Vocabulary in Chinese

These words are vital to know to get the conversation started with Chinese-speaking football fans.

English ChinesePinyin Pronunciation
World Cup世界杯shìjiè bēi
football (soccer)足球zúqiú
game/match比赛bǐsài
…vs……对…duì
host nation东道主dōngdàozhǔ
watch观看/看guānkàn/kàn
live games直播zhíbō
replay重播chóngbō
highlights集锦jíjǐn
win/beatyíng
loseshū
draw/tiepíng
score比分bǐfēn
points积分jīfēn
team球队qiúduì
national team国家队guójiā duì
player球员qiúyuán
fan球迷qiúmí
spectator观众guānzhòng
supporter支持者zhīchízhě
stadium球场qiúchǎng
group stage小组赛xiǎozǔ sài
group table小组积分xiǎozǔ jīfēn
group of death死亡之组sǐwáng zhī zǔ
qualify晋级jìnjí
eliminate淘汰táotài
knockout stage淘汰赛táotài sài
semi-final半决赛bàn juésài
final决赛juésài
underdog黑马hēi mǎ
champions冠军guànjūn
trophy奖杯jiǎngbēi

World Cup Game Lingo in Chinese

Now we’ll cover the different tangible components of the football game to help you level up.

English ChinesePinyin Pronunciation
forward前锋qiánfēng
midfielder中场zhōngchǎng
defender后卫hòuwèi
goalkeeper守门员shǒuményuán
captain队长duìzhǎng
referee裁判cáipàn
coach教练jiàoliàn
attack进攻jìngōng
defense防守fángshǒu
dribble带球dài qiú
pass传球chuán qiú
shoot/shot射门shè mén
header头球tóu qiú
goal进球jìn qiú
own goal乌龙球wūlóng qiú
kick-off开球kāi qiú
out of bounds出界chū jiè
throw-in边线球biānxiàn qiú
corner-kick角球jiǎo qiú
goal kick球门球qiúmén qiú
offside越位yuèwèi
foul犯规fànguī
dive假摔jiǎshuāi
free kick任意球rènyì qiú
penalty点球diǎnqiú
yellow card黄牌huáng pái
red card红牌hóng pái
injure受伤shòushāng
substitutes替补tìbǔ
stoppage time补时bǔ shí
extra time加时jiā shí

Not enough? We’ve also written a detailed Chinese vocabulary guide for football if you want to talk more knowledgeably about football in Chinese.

Chinese Phrases Related to the World Cup

Chinese World Cup vocab phrases

Now that you’ve seen a bunch of useful vocabulary words about the World Cup in Chinese, we’ll leave you with some top Chinese phrases you can use when talking about the World Cup, or watching the games with your Chinese-speaking friends.

We’ve also thrown in a few advanced expressions at the end if you’re ready to take your knowledge to the next level!

  • 你是球迷吗?
    Nǐ shì qiúmí ma?
    Are you a football fan?
  • 这次世界杯你看了吗?
    Zhè cì shìjiè bēi nǐ kàn le ma?
    Did you watch the World Cup this time?
  • 全世界的球迷都在看世界杯。
    Quán shìjiè de qiúmí dōu zài kàn shìjiè bēi.
    Football fans around the world are watching the World Cup.
  • 卡塔尔世界杯是史上最贵的一届世界杯。
    Kǎ tǎ ěr shìjiè bēi shì shǐ shàng zuì guì de yí jiè shìjiè bēi.
    The World Cup Qatar is the most expensive World Cup ever in history.
  • 这是梅西和罗纳尔多的最后一届世界杯。
    Zhè shì Méi xī hé Luó nà ěr duō de zuìhòu yí jiè shìjiè bēi.
    This is Messi and Ronaldo’s last World Cup. 
  • 昨天的比赛你看了吗?
    Zuótiān de bǐsài nǐ kàn le ma?
    Did you watch the game yesterday?
  • 我没看直播,但看了集锦。
    Wǒ méi kàn zhíbō, dàn kàn le jíjǐn.
    I didn’t watch the live game. But I watched the highlights.
  • 比赛太精彩了!
    Bǐsài tài jīngcǎi le!
    What an exciting game!
  • 昨天晚上的比赛谁赢了?
    Zuótiān wǎnshang de bǐsài shéi yíng le?
    Which team won last night?
  • 二比一。日本赢了。
    Èr bǐ yī. Rì běn yíng le.
    2-1. Japan won.
  • 今天晚上的比赛是谁对谁?
    Jīntiān wǎnshang de bǐsài shì shéi duì shéi?
    Which teams are playing against each other tonight?
  • 比赛几点开始?
    Bǐsài jǐ diǎn kāishǐ?
    When does the game start?
  • 我们去哪里看球?
    Wǒmen qù nǎli kàn qiú?
    Where are we going to watch the game?
  • 决赛马上开始了!
    Juésài mǎshàng kāishǐ le!
    The final is about to begin!
  • 你支持哪支球队?
    Nǐ zhīchí nǎ zhī qiúduì?
    Which team are you for?
  • 你看好哪支球队?
    Nǐ kàn hǎo nǎ zhī qiúduì?
    Which team do you think will win?
  • 我猜阿根廷二比一赢。
    Wǒ cāi Ā gēn tíng èr bǐ yī yíng.
    I think Argentina will win 2-1.
  • 你最喜欢哪名球员?
    Nǐ zuì xǐhuan nǎ míng qiúyuán?
    Who is your favorite player?
  • 我赌巴西是冠军!
    Wǒ dǔ Bā xī shì guànjūn!
    I bet Brazil will be the champion!
  • 比赛怎么样了?
    Bǐsài zěnmeyàng le?
    How is the game going?
  • 几比几了?
    Jǐ bǐ jǐ le?
    What’s the score now?
  • 还有多少时间?
    Háiyǒu duōshǎo shíjiān?
    How much time is left?
  • 法国要输了!
    Fǎ guó yào shū le!
    France is about to lose!
  • 这个人不会射门!
    Zhège rén bú huì shèmén.
    This guy doesn’t know how to shoot.
  • 裁判是个瞎子!
    Cáipàn shì gè xiāzi!
    The referee is blind!
  • 没有犯规,是假摔!
    Méiyǒu fànguī, shì jiǎshuāi!
    It wasn’t a foul! He dived!
  • 内马尔受伤了。他打不了下一场比赛。
    Nèi mǎ ěr shòu shāng le. Tā dǎ bù liǎo xià yì chǎng bǐsài.
    Neymar was injured. He can’t play the next match.
  • 他跑不动了,看上去非常累。
    Tā pǎo bú dòng le, kàn shàngqu fēicháng lèi.
    He can’t run anymore. He looks very tired.
  • 比赛结束了!
    Bǐsài jiéshù le!
    The game ended!
  • 不会吧!德国被淘汰了!
    Bú huì ba! Dé guó bèitáo tài le!
    No way! Germany was eliminated!
  • 恭喜英格兰晋级下一轮!
    Gōngxǐ Yīng gé lán jìnjí xià yī lún!
    Congratulations on England’s qualification for the next round!
  • 我们赢啦!我们是世界冠军!
    Wǒmen yíng la ! Wǒmen shì shìjiè guànjūn!
    We won! We are the champions of the world!

Recap: Talking World Cup in Chinese

World Cup in Mandarin

With this post, we’ve got you covered to be able to keep up with all the go-to vocab and phrases you’ll need when talking about the World Cup with your Chinese-speaking friends. Don’t be afraid to holler out a few of these at opportune moments during a game, modifying them for your favorite team, of course!

While you’re here, feel free to explore ImproveMandarin.Com, one of the world’s largest sites dedicated to Chinese learning. We serve up straightforward, science-backed guides and honest reviews of courses and apps we’ve battle-tested ourselves to dramatically improve your Chinese.

Here are some posts to help you get started:

By the way, if you’re thinking about taking a Chinese course online, make sure to read our review first. We’ve taken the time to try out dozens of Chinese courses on the internet, some are fabulous while others are junk. Here are honestly the best online Chinese courses in 2024.

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