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It is a common term that we hear or see when we are watching soccer. A team has won three-nil, or a side has been beaten 1 nil yet some people do not know what that actually means. For those who do not, it can be something of an annoyance to not know all the information needed when watching a game of soccer. For those of you who wish to know what Nil means in soccer, then read on to find out.
Nil refers to the number 0 and people who refer to 0 as nil are usually talking about a sporting result or in most cases, a soccer result. Nil is the Latin word for nihil which means “nothing” and also, it can be found in the word nihilism and that is the thought that nothing on Earth actually has any real existence.
In this article, we will look at the history of Nil in soccer as well as what exactly it means. Read on to find out.
What does Nil mean in soccer?
As we touched on above, nil is generally a term that is used in sporting circles and in a majority of cases, soccer. The term is used when a team has failed to score a goal in a match. Nil means zero in Latin and some people will read out a scoreline from a match and instead of saying their team won three zero, they will say that their team won three-nil.
History of Nil in soccer
In football (soccer) in the United Kingdom, if neither side manages to score a goal during a match, the score is always said to be read out as a nil-nil result or a nil-nil draw. What is usually funny about this, its that if a team does score a goal, but the other one does not, the team that scored will always have their score read out first, even if they are the away team.
For example, Liverpool is playing away to Manchester United and Liverpool win 2-0, the result will be read out as Liverpool two, Manchester United nil and when the score is to be written out it is different and it will be written Manchester United 0, Liverpool two.
According to some reports, the Romans introduced the game to the British, and that the Latin term Nil simply stuck. As we know the Romans loved playing ball games with Harpastum the most popular. Some sources claim that Calcio Fiorentino is the forefather of football and that the game was played way back in the 15th century in the city of Florence. What that suggests is that the sport of soccer (football) had continued to be played in Italy well after the Roman Empire fell.
What also backs this up is that football in England is not the only country to use the term nil. The Dutch and French say the term as null, with the Swedes, Germans, and Norwegians saying null. What is most surprising is that Italians say zero instead of nil while the Spanish say cero.
Can a nil-nil game be exciting?
The answer to this yes a definite yes however ultimately some fans need to see goals for a match to be exciting but the fact is that some nil-nil matches are far more appealing than a game with a solitary goal.
This could be for many reasons and the first one is that if a team scores first and they are away from home, for example, then that team will tend to sit back and soak up the pressure of the opposition and essentially not play football in order to protect their lead. This generally leads to matches where one side has ridiculous amounts of possession, passing it sideways and backward, trying to open a gap in the defense. This can be boring however if your team is on the side in front then I am sure you will have a different view.
When you are watching a match like that, time can tend to drag on and you can become disinterested in the match because it is one team defending, showing no signs of attacking intent, and the opposition putting a barrage of balls into the box in the hope of scoring. It is not appealing to the eye but as we said, if your team is playing against the top team, then this is a very exciting match, but otherwise, it is not as exciting.
Then come the exciting nil-nil draws. When people check the scores of the league that they follow and a 0-0 result pops up, straight away they will think that the match was dour, and they are glad they did not watch. However, this is not always the case.
The main reason why nil-nil matches can be so enthralling to watch is simply that both sides are constantly attacking trying to get the goal that will put them ahead in the match. Also, it can be that a goalkeeper is playing a great game and is saving everything that comes his way.
Unlike the 1-0, we were speaking about earlier, the exciting nil-nil matches tend to fly by, simply because you are so invested in the match and both teams are attacking trying to score that you do not even notice the time until the referee has blown for full time.
Some do say that a nil-nil match is exciting, and it is simply because both sides are continually pushing for the 90 minutes to attack and try and get the goal that will win them the three points.
Ultimately however everyone is different so some people do not like a 0-0, they would rather their side lose than grab a point, while others are the opposite, one point is better than none. Either way, both have valid points but a 0-0 can definitely be exciting.