What Is A Nutmeg In Soccer?

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What Is A Nutmeg In Soccer?

A nutmeg is a type of skill move commonly seen in soccer, where the player runs around or through a defender, using their feet to pass the ball by the opponent and into space. This move can be used as an offensive weapon to break past defenders or to get out of a tight spot.

It’s no easy feat and requires quick thinking, accurate passing, and precise timing to pull off successfully. It can be done either deliberately, to embarrass or humiliate the opponent, or as part of a move to get past them.

Where Does The Term “Nutmeg” Come From?

The first documented use of the term “nutmeg” in relation to soccer dates back to 1881 when it was used in an English newspaper article about a match between England and Scotland. The term was likely coined by English players or fans, as it does not appear to have been used in Scotland at that time.

The term “nutmeg” has since become common slang in soccer circles and is used to describe any instance in which the ball is kicked through the legs of an opponent, regardless of whether it results in a goal.

How Do You Execute The Nutmeg?

Executing a nutmeg in soccer is both an art and a science. It requires the player to be aware of their own positioning and that of their opponent and the ball. The key to success is timing, knowing when to make a move with your body or leg as you pass the ball through the opponent’s legs.

Footwork and agility are also important, allowing the player to pull off the nutmeg smoothly without losing control of the ball. As difficult as mastering this skill may sound, it can be achieved through practice and experimentation – without fear of making mistakes and learning from them.

What Makes The Nutmeg So Embarrassing?

Nutmegs often occur during one-on-one situations when the dribbler has less space to work with and must be more precise with their passes. While there is no official rule against nutmegging in soccer, it is generally seen as unsportsmanlike behavior and may result in retaliation from the opposing team.

In some cases, players have even been ejected from games for excessive nutmegging. So why do players continue to do it? For some, it is simply a way to show off their skills and embarrass their opponents. Others see it as a way to get under the opposing team’s skin and give their team an edge.

How Do You Defend A Nutmeg In Soccer?

Block The Ball With Your Foot: This is often the most difficult approach, as you need to be quick and have good coordination. If you can manage to get a touch on the ball, it will often go off course and make it more difficult for the opponent to score.

Use Your Body To Defend The Nutmeg: This can be done by either standing in front of the opponent or sliding in between their legs. Doing this will block their view of the goal and make it more difficult for them to shoot.

Stay Calm & Wait For The Opponent To Make a Mistake: This can be difficult, as it requires patience and a cool head. However, if you can keep your composure, the opponent is likely to make a mistake that you can take advantage of.


To summarize, a nutmeg is a move in soccer used to get the ball through an opponent’s legs and can be used to score or set up a teammate for a goal. They are considered one of the most difficult skills in soccer and are often used as a show of skill.