What does it mean to say that a player is his team's "dagger man," and in what sports does it apply?

I presume it has something to do with being a player who scores. Does it matter how they score (e.g., from close range) or just that they score a lot?

  • Not sure to put this as a proper answer because I have no sources but I have heard it being used in reference to a striker (Samuel Eto at Barcelona) in football, meaning that he provides the cutting edge for the team by scoring a lot. Not too sure about other sports though.
    – RoB
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 8:40
  • 1
    In Basketball a big shot at the end of the game, that generally puts the team too far in the lead to lose is often referred to as a dagger, or a nail in the coffin.
    – Nick
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 12:23
  • Usain Bolt is known for daggering...but that falls under a completely different context...
    – user527
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 13:55
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    @RoB, just to clarify: in football the term "dagger man" is more likely to be used for a striker specifically, so that Eto'o fits the category more comfortably than Zidane, right? EDIT: or maybe I should have asked about Messi rather than Zidane, since Messi is the highest goal-scorer for his club despite playing from the wing.
    – kuzzooroo
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 14:32
  • @kuzzooroo, yea I imagine that it applies to Messi more than Zidane. I only heard it that one time said by Ray Hudson on ESPN(?), it was Barcelona vs Zaragoza from 2009 I think.
    – RoB
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 15:56

1 Answer 1


I am familiar with this as the person that makes of habit of making the score that finishes the opponent. Especially with Basketball, I recall Larry Bird making shot in the final seconds and the announcers saying "Dagger!" implying that was the final blow in finishing off the opponent.

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