What Does Crack Mean In Soccer? (Meaning Explained)

As in other sports, soccer has its own strange terms. Since soccer is one of the biggest sports in the world, soccer has many terms, and chances are you don't know them all. So, what does "crack" mean in soccer?

The term crack in soccer is used to refer to a special player. A crack player is often the star player of a team or a player who can bring something extra special. The player is a talisman for his club and team. Examples of crack players are Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Kylian Mbappé.

This soccer term is not used all over the world, and the way it is used can also vary from country to country. Read on to find out more about this term!

What is Crack in Soccer?

Have you ever heard a soccer player referred to as crack? Maybe you've noticed people saying something like, "Cristiano Ronaldo is crack."

Are you confused? Well, you're probably not alone. So then, what does crack mean in soccer?

Crack is a term used to describe an extremely skillful soccer player—particularly a player who controls or dominates a game.

Elite players such as Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe are often referred to as crack players.

"Lionel Messi is crack" and "Lionel Messi is a crack" are both common uses of the word.

For the most part, it is only used to describe stand-out attacking players with lots of skill. For example, the term is rarely used when talking about defenders and goalkeepers.

The term "crack" is usually reserved for the stand-out player in a team, often the team's Talisman.

This doesn't necessarily mean that the captain is always a crack, though.

Take Manchester United, for example. Harry Maguire is the team's captain; however, Cristiano Ronaldo will be seen as their crack player.

It is very rare to have more than one crack player on a team, and soccer teams are often on the hunt for one of these players during transfer periods.

A crack player in soccer can easily be compared to what LeBron James is to the L.A. Lakers, or Giannis Antetokounmpo is to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The term is mainly used across mainland Europe. It is commonly used by soccer fans in Spain, Portugal, and France.

Some Spanish-speaking commentators have also used it.

It is also quite common in Brazil, Argentina, and other South American countries.

Brazilian superstar Neymar has even used the term in interviews before.

When Kylian Mbappe was breaking through at PSG, Neymar once said, "he is very fast, young, a crack"

This term is widely unheard of in many countries, including the U.S. and the U.K.

Even across the counties where it is common, it can vary in what it means and how it's used.

How is The Soccer Term "crack" Used Worldwide?

As is the case with so many terms, their meaning and use can vary from one part of the world to another and even from one country to another.

This is also the case with the soccer term "crack."

How "crack" is used in Spain

Spain is probably the country where the term is most used, mostly when people talk about high-level athletes in soccer and across all forms of other sports.

During his time at Barcelona, Catalans would commonly refer to Messi as their crack player.

Around the same time, Madrid fans would have referred to Ronaldo as their crack player.

How "crack" is used in France

Although the French still uses the word to describe elite-level soccer players, it is more often used when talking about young, up-and-coming players.

If a young French player is expected to be the next big thing, this is when they'll most likely be referred to as a "crack."

For example, the young Frenchman - Eduardo Camavinga may well be called a crack in his homeland of France.

In Spain, where he plays for Real Madrid, they would more likely withhold the term crack for his teammate and elite player, Karim Benzema.

How "crack" is used in South America

Most South American countries tend to follow Spain in how they use the term.

Crack players are seen as one-of-a-kind stars. They are also seen as players who could change a team's fortunes.

Former Manchester City manager - Manuel Pellegrini from Chile has been quoted talking about what he sees as a crack player.

He once said that he was short on crack players. When asked to expand on the subject, he said this;

"A special player to give us that sense we are at another level"

He would go on to compare the impact of Sergio Aguero at Manchester City and Luis Saurez at Barcelona to being crack players.

Is "crack" used in the U.K?

The Premier League in England has one of the largest worldwide audiences in soccer.

But do the local fans use the word crack to describe superstars such as Harry Kane? Not at all.

In fact, if you walked into an English pub and asked a soccer fan about crack players, you would probably be met with some strange looks! 

The closest expression the British use is "cracking."

If a player scores an incredible goal, a British soccer fan might say, "that was a cracking goal," or "he is a cracking striker."

But players are never referred to as crack in the U.K.

Is "crack" used in the U.S?

When it comes to referring to crack players, the U.S. is very much like the U.K. in this regard. It's very rare.

There are some circumstances within the U.S. and U.K. where younger soccer fans are starting to pick up the phrase.

With superstar players like Neymar using the term, it's not surprising to see children follow in their hero's footsteps. 

So although "crack players" isn't a term you would commonly hear in the U.S. or U.K., this isn't to say it won't one day become the norm.


To summarize, a crack player is somebody who has elite soccer skills and often controls a game. They are seen as their team's Talisman.

Although the meaning can slightly differ across different countries, being called a crack player can only be seen as a huge positive!

November 2, 2022
Published: November 2, 2022