To attack an opponent instead of attacking the ball, which is usually being controlled by the attacked player at the time.
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Submitted on January 20, 2019

Additional definitions for 'play the man and not the ball':

play the man and not the ballTo object to someone's argument by attacking them or a facet of their personality instead of the argument itself; to make an ad hominem attack.
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Translation

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العب الرجل وليس الكرة

jugar al hombre y no a la pelota

jouer l'homme et non le ballon

आदमी खेलते हैं और गेंद नहीं

gioca l'uomo e non la palla

공이 아니라 남자를한다

играть человеком, а не мячом

మనిషిని ఆడుకోండి బంతి కాదు

آدمی کو کھیلنا اور گیند نہیں

打男人而不是打球

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    "play the man and not the ball." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Jun 2024. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/play-the-man-and-not-the-ball_42879>.

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