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I was watching the Barcelona-Chelsea game just now, and Messi almost scored a goal in the last minute.

How do you say "he was so close"?

Messi estuve cerca de meter un gol.

Is this correct?

Also -- if I'm not asking too much -- how do you say "a close game/match"?

Thank you!

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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Besides @kelmer answer you can also say:

Messi por poco mete un gol.

Messi casi mete un gol.

Messi ya mero mete un gol. (apparently only used in Mexico as per comments also there is no entry for this usage in the RAE)

The translation of "a close game" would be "un juego reñido" or "un juego parejo". You can add "muy" to emphasize e.g. "muy reñido".

UPDATE:

I'm from Mexico so I don't know if this applies to every Spanish speaking country.

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The expression ya mero sounds too local; I might be wrong, but I don't think it's used outside Mexico. –  Gonzalo Medina Apr 19 '12 at 2:56
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@GonzaloMedina I've certainly never heard "ya mero" is Spain –  MikMik Apr 19 '12 at 8:43
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I don't know if it's used throughout the Spanish speaking world, but at least where I live (Argentina), a very idiomatic way to say "so close" is "ahí nomás". So, you could say:

Messi estuvo ahí nomás de meter un gol.
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"Nomás" is not used in Spain buscon.rae.es/draeI/SrvltConsulta?TIPO_BUS=3&LEMA=nom%E1s –  JoulSauron Apr 19 '12 at 14:42
    
"Nomás" is used in Mexico but not for this case. An example: "Nomas quiero que me hagas caso" –  Alfredo Osorio Apr 19 '12 at 15:33
    
Actually "nomás" is Mexican slang to create a contraction of "nada más". –  Sergio Romero Apr 26 '12 at 20:04
    
@Sergio Romero. Sorry, but I disagree. It's not slang (although it's not formal); it's not Mexican (it's used widely across Latin America); and it's not a contraction of "nada más" (it's a word by itself, and arguably comes from "no más"; in any case, the word has a number of meanings and it's not just a contracted form of "nada más"; you can't say "No hay nomás que hacer" instead of "No hay nada más que hacer", for instance). I'm not sure if "ahí nomás" is used to mean "so close" in other places, though (it's not the case in Mexico, according to Alfredo O). –  Juan Pablo Califano Apr 27 '12 at 1:44
    
@JuanPabloCalifano: Hi. First and foremost I acknowledge and accept my mistake. On the other hand you are only partially right, it does mean "no más" but it IS originally slang from the Meridional American countries (Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras" which later because of its extended use in those countries was accepted by the Academy of The Spanish Language as a word. On the other hand by the context of Alfredo's example, it CAN be used to mean "nada más". buscon.rae.es/draeI/SrvltConsulta?TIPO_BUS=3&LEMA=nomas –  Sergio Romero Apr 27 '12 at 13:54
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It would be

Messi estuvo cerca de meter un gol.

Another option, perhaps more common in Spain is

Messi estuvo a punto de meter un gol.

You can even emphasize with "a puntito" instead of "a punto".

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Oops. I was about to post the same answer, nevermind. +1 –  Alfredo Osorio Apr 18 '12 at 21:01
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