Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

What Does “Crack” Mean In Soccer?


In the world of sports, there are official terms found in rulebooks, and then there are the unique vocabularies created by fans and players around the globe. These slang terms can be difficult to track from a linguistic perspective, but they hold contextual meaning. In this article, we will explore the term “crack” and its significance to soccer enthusiasts worldwide.

The Meaning of “Crack” in Soccer

A “crack” player in soccer refers to someone who excels on the field, making a significant impact with their skills and leadership abilities. Examples of these so-called “crack” players include Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar.

The Use of the Term in Spanish and Portuguese

In Spanish, the term “crack” is used as a noun to describe someone’s excellence in their game. For instance, one might say, “Joanna is a crack,” which implies that Joanna is exceptional in her field. Similarly, when discussing Brazilian soccer players, the term is also used in the same way. However, in Portuguese, the term is spelled “craque.”

The Use of the Term in English

In English, calling someone a “crack” might elicit some confusion. However, the term can be used as an adjective to describe a noun. For example, in the sentence, “Mo Salah is a cracking player,” or “That was a cracking goal!” the word “cracking” describes excellence. According to Merriam Webster, “cracking” means “very impressive or effective: great” and “very, extremely.” In the US, “crack” is sometimes a shortened form of “crackerjack,” which means “a person or thing of marked excellence.”

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Other Contexts

The term “crack” also has associations with an extremely hard hit, as seen in phrases like “the boxer cracked him across the cheek” or “being a crack shot,” referring to someone with excellent marksmanship skills. These connotations of proficiency and power may have influenced its usage in other sports.

In different contexts, “crack” can also be used as a verb, meaning to attempt something. For example, “Take a crack at it” is an encouraging statement, inviting someone to give it a try.

“Crack” in the Larger World

As with many sporting terms, “crack” has moved beyond the field and into everyday language. Companies like Crack FC, an Los Angeles-based athletic streetwear brand, draw inspiration from the mentality of a crack player. They offer clothing with phrases like “Master Your Craft” and “Being a crack is leadership.”

According to Crack FC, a “crack” is defined as “a person manifesting an aura of genius. The blueprint of a crack is to work on your craft and be the best at whatever it is that makes you happy.”

The Importance of Cracks in Teams

Regardless of its exact origin, it is evident that being a “crack” is highly desirable in soccer. Managers seek players with exceptional skills and leadership qualities, who can inspire their teammates. However, balancing egos can be a challenge. Too many elite players can lead to clashes within a team. It is crucial for organizations to bring together the right individuals to ensure success.

Manchester City’s Crack Problems

In 2015, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini expressed the team’s need for another exceptional player, stating they needed “a crack, another special player just to give [the team] that sense that we are now at another level.” While Pellegrini praised players like Sergio Aguero, some may question whether Aguero was truly deserving of the title.

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Ego and Team Dynamics

Ego can be a significant hurdle for professional athletes, regardless of their skill level. Many of the world’s best players have oversized egos, leading to issues within teams. The feud between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, for example, illustrates how egos can disrupt a team, as seen in their time with the Los Angeles Lakers.

A true “crack” player must not only possess immense talent but also foster trust and cooperation within the team. Diego Maradona, known for his leadership skills and extraordinary talent, was praised for his ability to connect with his teammates. A “crack” player believes in themselves and their team, using their physicality and personality to elevate the entire club. They are an invaluable asset, but finding and affording such a player is no simple task.


Q: How do you define a “crack” player in soccer?

A: A “crack” player in soccer refers to someone who excels on the field, making a significant impact with their skills and leadership abilities.

Q: How is the term “crack” used in other languages?

A: In Spanish, “crack” is used as a noun to describe someone’s excellence in their game. In Portuguese, it is spelled “craque.”

Q: Are there any negative connotations associated with the term “crack” in soccer?

A: No, being called a “crack” player is considered a compliment in soccer. It is a term that signifies exceptional talent and leadership.


The term “crack” in soccer carries significant meaning. It represents players who excel on the field, possess exceptional skills, and inspire their teammates. These players are highly sought after by managers, although balancing egos within a team can be a challenge. Diego Maradona serves as an example of a “crack” player who not only showcased immense talent but also fostered trust and unity within his team. Finding and affording such players is a complex task that requires careful consideration. Nevertheless, the presence of a “crack” player can elevate a team to new heights of success.

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