I came across this sentence and I guess the 'spirit' here means ghosts.
Am I guessing it right?

You will be in the company of the spirit of soccer itself.

I don't have a full context(sorry for that) but tried to remember it after reading your answers and comments. Here's the situation; two boys were practicing soccer in a historic soccer field and one complained that the practice was not going well. Then the other said that a lot of famous soccer players(some are dead) played games in this field, so even though these boys were doing poorly at the moment, they might be in the company of the spirit of soccer itself. So I thought of 'ghosts' because of famous but 'dead' soccer players and 'historic' soccer place mentioned in their conversation. Does it make sense?

  • 2
    Hello and welcome to ELL.SE! As often, context is the key. I'm leaning towards another interpretation, but judging from this sentence alone, I couldn't say for sure. So, could you please give a) a description of where this quote is from and b) give more text, perhaps even with a link?
    – Stephie
    Feb 16, 2015 at 17:17
  • I am sorry. I don't have a full context for this one, but I will keep that in mind with my next post onwards.
    – Poppy
    Feb 16, 2015 at 20:07
  • Actually, that's already enough to understand the situation, thanks!
    – Stephie
    Feb 16, 2015 at 21:17

3 Answers 3


Taking the background into account, the spirit here is probably best decribed with a combination of definition 1, 6 and 10 of the Collins dictionary, namely

  • the force or principle of life that animates the body of living things (but only figuratively here used for soccer)
  • the prevailing element; feeling and
  • the deeper more significant meaning

What one of the boys basically said was that this place was so full of historic importance, that "the essence of soccer" or "the soul of soccer" was there - perhaps hoping that they would be great one day themselves.

A similar thing might be said by a young tennis player practising in Wimbledon or a law student doing an intership at the Supreme Court or the United Nations.


Check out the meanings found at CDO:

spirit noun (WAY OF FEELING)
a particular way of thinking, feeling, or behaving, especially a way that is typical of a particular group of people, an activity, a time, or a place

spirit noun (NOT BODY)
the characteristics of a person that are considered as being separate from the body, and that many religions believe continue to exist after the body dies

Given those two definitions, I don't think the intended meaning is the one that aligns with "ghost". It's more of what NOAD calls:

those qualities regarded as forming the definitive or typical elements in the character of a group

  • Now I'm getting this image of a corporation made up of dead soccer players.
    – Jay
    Feb 16, 2015 at 21:10
  • @Jay - Ha ha! But really you should be getting an image of a packed, rowdy stadium, a close match, chanting fans, crisp passing, exciting corner kicks, and spectacular saves. Then you'd really be getting a glimpse of the spirit of soccer.
    – J.R.
    Feb 17, 2015 at 13:55
  • Or fans rampaging through the streets, setting fire to cars, beating people up, and generally having fun.
    – Jay
    Feb 17, 2015 at 17:46

A soccer ghost is somehow nonsense for me.

I think spirit in this context means enthusiasm or will(n).

  • 2
    Welcome to the site. I agree with your answer, and though this is a simple question to respond to, it is usually best to offer as much supporting evidence as you are able to do. In this case, providing a link to the definition you used would be good, or perhaps giving an additional sentence or two using the meaning you've chosen as examples. Explaining why you think that your answer is correct is as valuable as giving a correct answer in the first place. Feb 16, 2015 at 18:39
  • @JasonPatterson thank you for your advice, I will fix it when I reach my computer. :)
    – spicydog
    Feb 17, 2015 at 2:11

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