Definition of Crack Player

The only place where the English word "crack" is used in sport is in shooting. So we commonly find sentences like "He's a crack shot" which means "he's an excellent marksman". But the Spanish and Catalan have introduced the word to the La Liga where it is not uncommon to hear "Messi es un crack" which also means that "Messi is outstanding". It could also mean describing someone with excellent skills or as being first-rate.

Manuel Pellegrini recently lamented that he was short of "crack" players. Sergio Aguero at the time he arrived at Man City and Luis Suarez when he was with Liverpool were cited as examples of "crack" players. A crack player according to him was one who can give his side the sense that they are at another level.

Crack players are impact players and are often talismanic for the clubs they play in, not just because of their goal-scoring abilities but also the great inspiration their name provides to their side. Messi and Ronaldo are two great examples and are "crack" players for their respective teams, Barcelona and Real Madrid. What the two sides have achieved over the years along with their teams needs no mention.

The upper-end of the transfer market is dominated by the demand for "crack" players. Gareth Bale was one when he came to Real Madrid for a record-breaking fee. His impact was felt when Real won the Champions Cup and Copa del Rey in the very year he joined. Diego Costa was another one whose feats catapulted Atletico Madrid to Spanish champions and European runners-up from just being non-entities. So much so, Chelsea lost no time in snapping him up this season and he has been their "crack" player as a top goal-scorer. Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic, although not prolific goal-scorers by virtue of being midfielders, also fall in this category. Both of them are impact players.

But it's not always that some perceived to be "crack" players may bring about the desired effect on club fortunes. Manchester United learnt it the hard way from the likes of Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao.