I am reading this article,

I have a problem understanding this sentence:

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The famous words that perhaps best describe players who wear Azzurri shirts on the international stage. For the current generation of strikers in and around the Azzurri team, the only way is up.

what does up means in that context please?

Does it mean that the current Italian strikers are good? or the current Italian strikers must be good? or something else?


2 Answers 2


"The only way is up" is an expression that means that, in this context, the strikers are expected to succeed.

  • 1
    I'd say, rather, it means they are expected to get even better than they already are. Jul 15, 2014 at 23:19
  • @StoneyB: I think you're right. While I don't see a huge difference between succeeding and getting better, I think "stronger" and "better" go together better than "stronger" and "successful."
    – Obfuskater
    Jul 15, 2014 at 23:30

It means that current Italian strikers are expected to be even better in the future.

As in you can go down - get worse - and you can go up - get better.

  • Yes but the only way is up means that you can go no lower - there is no down option. So the strikers are not expected to be even better, they are expected to stop being incompetent.
    – Chenmunka
    Oct 20, 2016 at 17:31

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