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4 min read

A football nutmeg has been around for a long time, and the term has been around even longer. The nutmeg skill is primarily used in football, but it can also be achieved in hockey or basketball. 

Getting megged in football is considered an embarrassment because it makes the defending player look silly or foolish.

Nutmegs are meant to be used occasionally, and not all of the time. If a nutmeg is used too often, it is consideredshowboating.  

A football nutmeg is a great way to keep the opponent off balance and allow an advantage to your team. 

What Does It Mean to Be Nutmegged in Football?

To perform a football nutmeg, you must kick the football ball between the legs of your opponent before running past them and retrieving the ball on the other side. While nutmegs (or football megs) sound simple, only ambitious football players attempt to accomplish this skill.

How to Nutmeg in Football

To perform a football nutmeg, you must first begin using a dribbling move to set up the nutmeg. Practicing your dribbling skills can help you get better at football, enabling you to nutmeg properly.

There are many variations of football nutmegs are named after professional players who have mastered their own megs, such as Neymar da Silva Santos Junior - better recognized as Neymar. 

You must lead the defender in one direction while wanting to head in a different direction. You are trying to confuse the defender about the way you are going, and they believe they can reach the ball. Once the defender attempts to get or tackle the ball, you kick it between the opponent’s legs.

Professional Football Players Who Have Achieved a Meg in Football

Multiple professional football players have achieved a football nutmeg.

Neymar da Silva Santos Junior 

Neymar has successfully performed over a dozen nutmegs in football. He has achieved an Elastico nutmeg, which is challenging to accomplish. 

Juan Roman Riquelme

Riquelme is one of the best nutmeggers in football. He has performed a nutmeg without even touching the ball.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo, a professional Brazilian football player, is one of the masters of performing a nutmeg. Ronaldo often uses this trickery to gain an advantage over the opposing team.

Lionel Messi

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is the king of successful nutmegs. He has performed over 120 nutmegs throughout his professional career, such as at Manchester City. 

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez is an Uruguayan professional football player who has conquered the nutmeg. However, he has also been nutmegged before.

Tobin Heath

Tobin Heath, a professional American football player, is the Queen of Nutmeg, as she regularly humiliates defenders.

Ronaldinho Gaucho

Ronaldinho is a professional football player in Brazil. He mainly plays as an attacking midfielder but has accomplished many nutmegs throughout his career.

Where Does the Term Football Nutmeg Come From?

The term “nutmeg” comes from anold Victorian slangmeaning to be tricked or deceived. It is primarily meant to suggest that it makes someone seem foolish. 

The term became popular in the 1870s when the nutmeg exports between America and England were apparent. 

Nutmegs were considered highly valuable, and some exporters would trick the English by putting wooden replicas into the shipped sacks and making it seem they were real nutmegs.

Eventually, the term nutmegged meant that a person was tricked, sneaking into typical football/football talk. 

Another take on the term nutmeg, in the Cockney rhyming slang, means leg. The book “Football Talk- The Language and Folklore of the World’s Greatest Game” by Peter Seddon stated this theory of the nutmeg history. 

Football Nutmeg FAQS

What is another word for a football nutmeg?

Another word for a football nutmeg is a football meg or a tunnel. A nutmeg, meg, or tunnel all mean the player tricks the defender, and the ball gets kicked between the defender’s legs.

How do you avoid a nutmeg in football?

To avoid a nutmeg in football, you must keep a staggered position. One foot should be in front of your other foot, measuring about the width of a ball.

Reducing the gap between your legs can help you prevent the ball from being kicked through your legs and being nutmegged. Practicing warm up drills before a game is an excellent way to avoid being megged.

The warm up exercises can help you understand the proper stance and mindset you must have to avoid the dreaded skill.

How do you know when to nutmeg?

You can figure out when to nutmeg a ball if the defending player is standing in a way that gives you an opportunity. You can also attempt a nutmeg if the defender seems unfocused by leading the defender away from where you are actually trying to go. 

Catch them off guard and kick the ball between their legs. You can even nutmeg well-positioned goalkeeper. To practice nutmegging in football, you can use a backyard football goal to practice this skill with a friend or teammate. 

Final Thoughts

While getting nutmegged can be embarrassing, part of the trickster of achieving a football nutmeg on the opposing player feels great. 

To practice your dribbling and kicking skills to perform a nutmeg, you should use a 3-in-1 trainer, such as theOpen Goaaal 3-in-1 Trainer, to perfect your skills. 

Once you master your dribbling and kicks, you can feel confident that you can perform a nutmeg and avoid being megged by an opponent.