For many years I have tried to describe the great cricketer Ian Botham ("Beefy" Botham) to other people in my international language school. I try to think of a word to describe someone who always makes his team win even when other people team are not very good. I want this word to describe "Beefy" or maybe Michael Jordan in basketball, or Ronaldo in football. Can you help me please?

  • I don't think there's a general-purpose term for team player whose individual ability consistently outweighs all the rest of the team. In football one might say "Rooney is a reliable scorer", but that wouldn't work for the top driver in an F1 racing team, for example. Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 13:26
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    How about top scorer? James Rodriguez wins Golden Boot as top scorer If there is no score, top player. Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 13:29
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    The term superstar is often used in the US for an extraordinary player, but it does not necessarily translate in always wins.
    – bib
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 13:33
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    I can't think of a term for the player, but in this situation the phrase "one man team" is often used to describe the team.
    – Rupe
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 13:44
  • Just in case others are misled: this is a joke/troll account that asks silly and deliberately disingenuous questions that nonetheless require a bit of lateral thinking to locate the actual jokes. Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 18:07

6 Answers 6


Some possible ideas for you:

A go-to player:

She's the team's go-to player [=she is the player that the team relies on] when they need to score late in the game.

You can also simply state that X is a most important player (MIP) or most valuable player (MVP) for the team.

The teams that rely heavily on one man to win a match are called one-man teams:

With Neymar gone, suddenly Brazil’s ‘one-man team’ lacks a man. (source)

  • Thank you now I can tell my friend and I change my profile with better adjective go-to for describe the Beefer! Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 13:43

You can say that Ian Botham carries his team.

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    Far better than the selected answer.
    – user63230
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 23:30

Anchorman: A man who plays the most crucial part or is the most dependable contributor.

  • Anchorman is not newsreader? Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 13:50
  • Anchorman is also sometimes used for the player who comes in last.
    – Rupe
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 13:54
  • @Rupe I haven't seen that when referring to athletics. It is sometimes used in scholastics, though. The "anchorman" at the US Naval Academy is the one with the lowest scholatic rank in his class. At the US Military Academy, that person is called the "goat". Do you have a reference for your comment? Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 14:11
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    Anchorman is the man at the end of a tug-of-war team
    – Philip
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 14:11
  • @Jim I wasn't actually thinking of athletics as such, although your question did remind me that the last man on a relay team is referred to that way (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anchorman). My comment was based on my own experience of other sports: I play cue sports, where most team matches are a series of individual match-ups, and the last in is often referred to as an anchorman. Teams usually put most of their best players on first, but often also leave one of their best for the anchorman role (needing someone reliable there in case it goes down to the wire).
    – Rupe
    Commented Jul 14, 2014 at 14:31

In Association Football, a player who seems to bring his team victory every time that he plays is often referred to as a talisman. This word can also be applied to a cricketer as in this article.


"Franchise player", one that the whole organization is built around...


I'd suggest, wunderkind, boy wonder, and whiz kid


: a person of remarkable talent or ability who achieves great success or acclaim at an early age.

[German : Wunder, wonder, prodigy (from Middle High German, from Old High German wuntar) + Kind, child; see kindergarten.]


boy wonder

: a young man whose skills or accomplishments are precocious. [1960–65; perhaps fashioned on German Wunderkind]

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary

whiz kid

: Informal. a youthful and exceptionally intelligent, talented, or successful person. [1940–45]

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary

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