The term nutmeg is an exceptional trick used in the world’s most fantastic game, soccer, wherein the opponent player tries to escape their defence or cross by them without any stoppage. These dribbling soccer skills are so fascinating to watch at the player who does this.
And it is pretty entertaining to watch the opponent player getting nutmegged.
This skill is performed by analyzing the correct timing and kicking the ball between the opponent player’s legs. Suppose a player wants to cross by the opponent player, then they wait for the opponent player’s legs to get opened.
As soon as the opponent player’s legs are wide open enough to do a nutmeg, the player gets through the legs and proceeds to pass the ball to the other player or shoot a goal.
The Opponent player is tricked and confused about how the ball has crossed from his defence. On the other hand, the player who nutmegs feels exhilarant and confident by surpassing the opponent player’s defense guard.
If you are still doubtful about what it takes and what it looks like to perform a nutmeg skill, then there is so much to it.
1. What is Nutmegging in Soccer?
Nutmegging a defender player in soccer is like breaking through the defensive tricks with a seamless skill that requires proper timing and a slight touch of the ball. Initially, the opposite team soccer player approaches the opponent, who might be a defender, a midfielder, or a goalkeeper.
After that, the player plans to overtake the position of the opposition player by finding the gap in the middle of the legs at the right moment, and then the player kicks the ball to move forward for a successful nutmeg properly.
The player does not know what the opponent player will take as the next move until and unless any physical movement is made. The opposite team player thinks the player will cross by them by increasing the running speed. However, that is not always the case. The player might even humiliate the opponent by performing other tricks.
Nutmegging means passing something in between through some obstacle. It means having control over some object and passing it through the center to overcome a hurdle to regain that control.
2. Learning Nutmegging as a Beginner with Equipment
- To learn soccer nutmeg skills, one must regularly play soccer as a passion or profession. This creates a habit of controlling the ball when sprinting with it.
- The player must start finding the gap between the opponent’s legs with perfect timing. Lastly, the player must kick the ball when the two legs create a sufficient gap to pass by it.
- To master the nutmeg trick, one must rush before kicking the ball through the opponent’s legs.
This skill is specifically a fast-paced movement, and it requires an abrupt kinetic movement to successfully take control of the ball after nutmegging and running past the opponent player.
To get used to or get accustomed to mastering the nutmeg skill, there are numerous ways to practice it without having an actual opponent player. The ways and equipment to master the nutmeg skill are as follows.
2.1. Soccer Mannequins
Soccer mannequins are wooden replicas readily available on online sports websites and offline sports shops. The soccer mannequins have two wooden sticks to make it stand at a particular place.
Likewise, many mannequins can be placed in a zig-zag position.
After that, the player can go through the mannequins by controlling the ball and passing amid wooden legs on the mannequins to do a nutmeg.
2.2. Soccer Cones
A soccer cone is a piece of fibre plastic that can be placed in a pair at different positions on the soccer field. The player’s aim should be to pass the ball between the pair of cones that are between the two cones.
Similarly, the player can practice other dribbling skills with the help of these cones.
2.3. Passing Arcs
Passing arcs are made of square metal, which can assist the player in learning and practicing nutmegs and is such a valuable commodity. It has enough space for a soccer ball to pass by. These arcs act as a void space of the opponent’s legs and exactly mimic if an opposite player is defending or goalkeeping.
2.4. Slalom Poles
Slalom poles are a type of poles that can be placed anywhere on the soccer field to practice nutmegging. Two slalom poles can be placed in pairs in an alternate direction, one after the other, to mimic the opposite player’s legs. In doing so, a player can brush up on his nutmeg skills.
3. Nutmegging Combination with Driblling Skills
Nutmegging is a trick that can be done intentionally and unintentionally. Sometimes, there is also a possibility that this trick is achieved spontaneously if the opponent allows the player to pass the ball from the middle of his legs.
Additionally, a regular or professional soccer player has dribbling skills with which they can combine nutmeg.
3.1. Right and Left Cross
Right and left cross is a skill that tricks the opposing team player by taking control of the ball and making a sudden right and left movement to get a nutmeg. It lets the player know in which direction the ball is going and opens up a gap between the legs to do the nutmeg.
One of the most professional soccer players “Lionel Messi” does this dribbling to attempt nutmegging.
3.2. Leg Rounds
Leg rounds are one of the dribbling skills wherein both legs, one after the other, are rotated around the ball. It perplexes the opposing player and changes his direction and balance.
In the meantime, a nutmeg is done as soon as a space opens up in the center of the legs. A great example of this trick can be seen in a prominent Portuguese player “Cristiano Ronaldo.”
3.3. Sombrero Flick
Sombrero flick is often done by highly talented players “Neymar da Silva and Santos Júnior.” This is a skill in which the opponent player tries to take the ball, but the player flicks the ball with both legs in the upward direction. As soon as the ball lands behind the opponent’s back, a nutmeg is quickly done.
Is nutmeg a complex skill to learn?
Nutmeg skills can be learned quickly with the help of soccer equipment and a practice partner. It does not take a lot of time to master this skill. The player has to make a quick movement to kick the ball when the defender’s legs are wide enough open. After that, the player takes control of the ball after nutmegging to pass or shoot at the goalpost.
Why is nutmegging popular in soccer games?
Nutmeg Soccer is quite well known for its enthusiasm, and it entertains the audience who watch and enjoy a soccer game. Also, it irritates the opponent, but at the same time, it boosts the confidence of the player who nutmegged.
Which soccer player is well-known for nutmegging?
Many players, including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, are admired for doing nutmegs. Messi does simple nutmegs that are mesmerizing to watch. On the contrary, Ronaldo is known for performing beautiful techniques to attempt a nutmeg.
Does nutmegging skill work in every situation?
Nutmegging does work almost all of the time. Still, in some situations, if the opponent player reads the player’s body language and one direction, he can even tackle an attempted nutmeg with one foot. Perhaps the opposing player even stands in a staggered position to attack the player and feel confident.
How do you tackle an expected nutmeg from the opponent player?
First and foremost, read the body language of the player. Observe in which direction the player is about to move. The player must be vigilant to track the next move of the opponent player.
Learn the Awesome Nutmeg Skill
Nutmegging is a visually impressive skill to learn and practice while playing soccer. It is also implemented in the indoor version of soccer, known as Futsal.
Despite soccer, futsal is the same as soccer, but the only difference is the field size and type of field, as it is occasionally played as a street football game.
The nutmegging skill is performed similarly in Futsal as well. The other name for nutmeg is “Panna,” which refers to “meg.” Learning how to do a panna is amusing. It can also be considered as a football talk.
Teenagers who are beginners to soccer and Futsal can quickly learn these skills if they practice regularly. Learning any skill does not account for the age limit. Therefore, even small kids can learn how to nutmeg. One surprising aspect of doing a nutmeg and creating new dribbling skills is that it enhances cognitive function in youngsters.
Furthermore, it also improves our mental health in solving real-life problems and thinking logically. All in all, nutmeg in soccer is highly beneficial for self-satisfaction and overcoming the fear of escaping the defender player and goalkeeper. It also unlocks the ability to apply creative thinking in real-life situations.