By Our Mystery Correspondent Per Dantic.
The commentators like to use some variation of this phrase. They will take the format of ‘A blank or a blank’ and insert the names of two players. We’re just using Messi and Xavi here as examples.
The first thing you might notice is that the commentators always pick the names of an ‘outstanding’ player (in the first sense of the word). The second thing you might notice is that frequently the full phrase will be ‘They need ‘a Messi or a Xavi’. Commentators say this to suggest that they are able to identify the missing piece of the puzzle that needs to slot into place to transform a team from stuttering and stumbling to fluenting and flying.
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