Do you know what does Salvarsi in calcio d’angolo mean in Italian?

“Salvarsi in calcio d’angolo” is an idiomatic expression often used in the Italian language.

As many other idioms, it comes from football.

In a country where football is considered the national sport and is followed by millions of people, that’s quite predictable!

Therefore some typical expressions from the pitch have been introduced in the common language.

Let’s see what this idiom means then!

Literally, it means “to save yourself in the corner”, where “corner” refers to a corner kick.

In football, the corner kick prevents the opposite team from scoring.

So it is a way to say that you save yourself last minute from a bad situation, finding a lucky way out.

In English the closest expression is “to have a narrow squeak”.

However, there isn’t a perfect correspondence between the two idioms.

How can we use this idiom?

Every time we manage to sort a problem out at the very last minute, this is the idiomatic expression to use!

The following examples will help you understand it better.

Italian English
Laura aveva comprato a Marco lo stesso regalo dell’anno scorso, ma per fortuna all’ultimo momento se ne è ricordata e l’ha cambiato. Si è salvata in calcio d’angolo! Laura had bought the same present as last year for Marco, but luckily at the last minute she remembered that and she changed it. She had a narrow squeak!
Quando i miei genitori sono tornati a casa avevo già messo tutto in ordine dopo la festa. Mi sono salvato in calcio d’angolo! When my parents got back home I had already tidied everything up after the party, I had a very narrow squeak!
  • Com’è andato l’esame di storia?
  • Mi sono salvata in calcio d’angolo! Non avevo studiato per niente ed ero sicura che sarei stato bocciato, ma l’argomento sorteggiato era l’unico che ricordavo. 
  • How did the history exam go?
  • I had a narrow squeak! I hadn’t studied at all and I was pretty sure that I would fail, but the topic drawn was the only one I remembered.


When would you use this idiom?

Learn more Italian idioms here!