What is a Nutmeg in Soccer?

What is a Nutmeg in Soccer?

What is a nutmeg in soccer? A nutmeg (also known as a “meg”) is when a player passes the soccer ball between another person or players legs.

Anyone who has played in a neighborhood park, school field, or a crowded futsal court understands the force of a well-executed, nutmeg.

With it, you can show flair while also embarrassing opponents, and when it comes to the latter, there is perhaps no finer move in soccer than the nutmeg.

The nutmeg is a classic technique encompassing everything beautiful about smooth soccer skills.

In this post, we’ll take a deep look at the move. Before getting into the nitty-gritty, let’s more in detail, “What is a nutmeg in soccer?”

Nutmeg in Soccer

It’s a classic dribbling talent to kick the ball between your opponent’s legs, sprint past them, and catch it as you cut in front of them.

It sounds simple in concept, but it is actually quite difficult to execute. It’s a move that some of the best offensive players have used in a match, and it’s known for being both beautiful to watch and very effective at beating an opponent.

Just take a look at these crazy professional nutmegs…

As well as being well-known in professional soccer, the nutmeg is also a staple of street soccer.

The nutmeg soccer skill is the core element of Panna. This street football game was developed in the Netherlands and has since gained popularity all over the globe (and is included in EA Sports’ FIFA Street video game).

The nutmeg is truly one of the most exciting moves in soccer. It can both excite fans and embarrass opponents in one incredible move.

How Do You Do It?

Do you want to pull off nutmegs in a game or people walking by? Here it is! We’ve included a few easy techniques and pointers to help you perfect your nutmeg on the soccer field.

If you repeatedly practice, you’ll soon be able to meg anyone and almost everyone.

Choose a Good Angle To Attack the Defense

There is more likely to be a noticeable space between their legs if they are facing straight at you. Players that are faced at you will most likely have two feet on the ground. It’s the perfect setup!

That gap will be smaller if you encounter them sideways. They can also have one leg up at a time like a flamingo so that would eliminate the chance of a meg.

Await the Ideal Opportunity

Before you perform the trick, you must bait the opponent to catch them off guard. Keep pushing the ball in front of you until they make a desperate lunge or get too comfortable.

You also need to ensure you are not pressured by opponents who could try to steal the ball from you.

Also, make sure that the area between the player’s legs is broad enough for you to move through, then…

Finish It!

Kick the ball quickly and softly between your opponent’s legs. You’ll want to make sure that there is enough force to get the ball to the otherside in one fluid motion.

You must be the one who receives the ball on the other side in order to complete a nutmeg successfully. At this point, you should have the defender beat or at least on your back.

Where Did the “Nutmeg” Come From?

“Nutmeg” or “meg” are strange labels to the move, isn’t it?

There are a number of hypotheses as to the meaning of the word “nutmeg” and how and why the renowned soccer player’s move came to be known by that name.

Even though it may not be explicitly connected to soccer, the word “nutmeg” was used in Victorian slang for being tricked or conned, according to some more research, in novelist and soccer enthusiast Brian Glanville’s story “A Bad Lot.”

Additionally, the term “nutmegged” entered English rhyming slang, representing the word “legs.” This may also help to explain how the name “nutmeg” came to be used in soccer, where the ball is often passed between the legs of the opposition.

But there is a lot of debate about the origins of nutmeg and its use in many cultures worldwide.

Famous Nutmeggers


Let’s talk about the best players in history who have been known to use this technique. Here are some of the most popular but well-liked names:

  1. Juan Roman Riquelme – Argentina soccer player who won a gold Olympic medal and is often regarded as the greatest player of all time.
  2. Lionel Messi – The name speaks for itself. He is seen as a rival to Juan Roman Riquelme for the title of nutmeg king, mostly because nutmeg is one of his many jaw-dropping moves.
  3. John O’Shea – Also regarded as the finest player in soccer at pulling off the nutmeg.
  4. Neymar Jr. – This Brazilian is a true showman and has the street flair that he transitions to his club, PSG.


The nutmeg in soccer can provide players with excitement. But, more times than not, other dribbling moves like the stepover or Cruyff turn can be more effective.

There’s definitely a time and place to execute the perfect nutmeg.

In addition to the soccer matches, players should try it on their friends. When done tastefully, it draws some respect from onlookers. Plus, it’s a great way to practice your timing and refine your soccer skills!

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created soccernovo.com to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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