Nutmeg (football)

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Diego Maradona's famous nutmeg against rival Juan Cabrera, the day he debuted in Argentine Primera División playing for Argentinos Juniors, 20 October 1976

A nutmeg (or tunnel, nut, megs, megnuts, panna, brooksy, codling) is a skill used mainly in association football, but also in field hockey, ice hockey, and basketball. The aim is to kick, roll, dribble, throw, or push the ball (or puck) between an opponent's legs (feet).

Exponents in football[edit]

Mural of Ronaldo nutmegging an opposing player, with the leyend "Joga bonito" (play nice) at bottom. The work in Berlin was commissioned by Nike prior to the 2006 World Cup in Germany

Kicking the ball through an opponent's legs in order to get the ball past them and back to the original player is a dribbling skill that is commonly used among football players. Owing to its effectiveness and being visually impressive, it is very popular among players and can be frequently seen being attempted multiple times throughout a game, whether by a single player or many different players. Some of the most notable practitioners include Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Lionel Messi.[1][2]

Street football game[edit]

There is also a street football game, originating in the Netherlands, which is called panna (Sranan Tongo for gate). This game depends on usage of this technique.[3][4]

Origin of the term[edit]

The origins of the word are a point of debate. An early use is in the novel A bad lot by Brian Glanville (1977).[5] According to Alex Leith's book Over the Moon, Brian - The Language of Football, "nuts refers to the testicles of the player through whose legs the ball has been passed and nutmeg is just a development from this".[6] The use of the word nutmeg to mean leg, in Cockney rhyming slang, has also been put forward as an explanation.[7]

Another theory was postulated by Peter Seddon in his book, Football Talk - The Language And Folklore Of The World's Greatest Game.[8] The word, he suggests, arose because of a sharp practice used in nutmeg exports between America and England. "Nutmegs were such a valuable commodity that unscrupulous exporters were to pull a fast one by mixing a helping of wooden replicas into the sacks being shipped to England," writes Seddon. "Being nutmegged soon came to imply stupidity on the part of the duped victim and cleverness on the part of the trickster." While such a ploy would surely not be able to be employed more than once, Seddon alleges it soon caught on in football, implying that the player whose legs the ball had been played through had been tricked, or, nutmegged.[7]

In other sports[edit]

In the National Basketball Association, Manu Ginóbili and Jamaal Tinsley employ the pass between the legs variant.[original research?] Some commentators also use the term "five-hole" whenever this happens. The term "five-hole" is used in ice hockey when the puck goes between the goalie's legs into the goal.[9] Other sports such as soccer have adopted hockey's usage, at least in America.[citation needed]

In other languages[edit]

Nutmeg is the British English name for this technique.[7]

  • In Spanish speaking countries like Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Spain and Mexico, it is called "túnel" or "caño".
  • In Albania it is called "Kaush" (Cornet) or "Nder Shale" (Between Thighs).
  • In Algeria it is called "قرعة", meaning "bottle".
  • In Angola it is called "Caguero".
  • In Argentina it is called "caño" o "túnel".
  • In Australia it is called a "nutmeg " or "Nuddie".
  • In Austria it is called "Gurkerl", meaning "small cucumber".
  • In Botswana it is called "kitchen" or "keafeta"
  • In Brazil it is called a "caneta" (pen), "janelinha" (little window), "rolinho" (little roll), "ovinho" (little egg) or tabaca.
  • In Bulgaria it is called "мрежичка", meaning "a small net".
  • In Cameroon it is referred to as "N'zolo"
  • In Cape Verde it is called "lavagem" meaning wash.
  • In China it is called "Chuandang"(穿裆)
  • In Cyprus it is called "Παττίχα" meaning "watermelon".
  • In Czech Republic it is usually called "jesle" (hay rack) or "housle" (violin) or "baseny" (contrabass) or "párky" (sausages).
  • In Denmark, Sweden and Norway it is called "tunnel".
  • In Dutch it is known by the verb "poorten" (lit. 'gating') and the Surinamese word "panna".
  • In Egypt and Saudi Arabia it is called "kobry" (كوبري), meaning "bridge (n)".
  • In Ethiopia it is called "lochie", or "weled" in Tigrigna.
  • In Iran it is called "laayee" (لایی) meaning "in between", or "the one that goes between (the legs)".
  • In Finland it is called "puikot" (sticks).
  • In France it is called "petit pont" (little bridge).
  • In Germany it is called "Tunnel" (tunnel) or "Beinschuss" (leg shot).
  • In Ghana it is called "SULIA"
  • In Greece it is called "podia" (ποδιά) meaning "apron".
  • In Hispanic America and Spain it is called "caño" (spout, pipe), "túnel" (tunnel), or "cocina" (kitchen).
  • In Hong Kong (Cantonese) it is called "通坑渠" (drainage cleaning)
  • In Hungary it is called "kötény" (apron), "szoknya" (skirt) or "bőr" (skin)
  • In India it is called "Galla" derived from ‘gali’ meaning narrow lane. In some parts of India it is also called "Pana" literally meaning a spanner
  • In Ireland it is called “megs”.
  • In Malayalam it is called as "nada" meaning "Through the middle" Eg: "Messi avante nada eduthu" means "Messi has nutmegged him"
  • In Indonesia it is called kolong meaning "pit".
  • In Iran it is called "laee" meaning "between."
  • In Israel it is called "השחלת חוט במחט" (lit. "threading a needle").
  • In Italy it is called "tunnel".
  • In Jamaican English it is known as "salad".
  • In Japan it is called "Mata nuki" (lit. 'crotch punching').
  • In Jordan it is called "Balaha" بلحة, meaning "date (n)".
  • In Kenya it is commonly known as "chobo" or "chobwe" - kupigwa chobo (nutmegged)
  • In Korea it is called "Alggagi (알 까기)" (hatching an egg).
  • In Lebanon it is called “Bayda“ "بيضة", which means egg.
  • in Libya it is called "bomshi" which is a kind of stones
  • In Lithuanian it is called “sijonas“, which means skirt or “klynas“, which means space between your legs.
  • In Malawi it is called Kalulu meaning "the hare" or "the rabbit"
  • In Malaysia and Singapore it is known as an "olé" or "50sen".
  • In Mandarin it is called "穿裆" (chuāndāng) meaning "through the crotch".
  • In Mauritania it is called "Yali".
  • In Morocco it is called “Bayda“ "بيضة", which means egg.
  • In Myanmar it is called "phaung gyar hte' htae"
  • In Namibia it is called "Junjie" or "Kootjie"
  • In Nepal it is also called "अन्डा पार्नु" (lay egg).
  • In New Zealand, it is generally referred to as ''nutmegged'' or ''megged"
  • In Nigeria It is referred to as "Toros" or "Da Pata" or "Kolo" a Yoruba word which is used to refer to a local piggy bank.
  • In Norway it is called "Tunnel". In the same meaning as in English. It can also be referred to as “luke” (hatch).
  • In Pakistan it is called "Chadda" or "panna"
  • In Papua New Guinea it is called "one-kina", after the coin which has a hole in the middle. It is pronounced in English.
  • In Peru it is called "huacha."
  • In Polish it is called "siata" (net) or "dziurka" (hole).
  • In Portugal it is usually called a "túnel" (tunnel), "cueca" (underpants), "rata" or "ova" (roe).
  • In Quebec, Canada it is called "toilette" (toilet), "tasse de café" (cup of coffee) implying that someone has been served
  • In Romania it is called "urechi", meaning "ears", or "craci", meaning "legs".
  • In Russia it is called "mezhdu nog" (между ног), "otverstiye" (отверстие) or "ochko" (очко), meaning "hole"
  • In Senegal it is called "yalli"
  • In Sierra Leone it is called "under waise" or "under cellar"
  • In South Africa it is also known as a "iShibobo".
  • In Sweden it is called "tunnel" (noun) and "tunnla" (verb).
  • In Tanzania it is called "tobo" or more accurately "kupigwa tobo" (nutmegged).
  • In Thai it is called "ลอดดาก" or "ดากไหม้".
  • In Trinidad & Tobago it is called "breed"
  • In Tunisia it is called "adma" (عظمة), meaning "egg".
  • In Turkey it is called "beşik" (cradle), "beşlik" (5-pointer), "bacak arası" ("from between the legs") or (for the defender) "yumurtlamak" (lay eggs).
  • In Uganda it is: "Okubiika Eggi" meaning "to lay an egg" or "okuzaala abalongo" which is giving birth to twins.
  • In Ukraine it is called "p'yatdesyat kopiyok" - (fifty cents), which is derived from the comedic idea that if a player nutmegs you, you owe him 50 cents.
  • In Uzbekistan it is called "Чотакай" (groin).
  • In Vietnam it is called "xỏ háng" (lit. "pierced groin").
  • In Zambia it is called a "pomo or Olilo"
  • In Zimbabwe it is called "deya, window or umbhoko"
  • In many other European/Latin and African countries it is called "panna", a Surinamese word.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lionel Messi was king of the nutmeg as Barcelona outclassed Manchester City... and he joins Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Luis Suarez in our top 10". Daily Mail. 19 March 2015.
  2. ^ Collins, Neil (5 July 2014). Make Us Dream: A Fan's View of the 2013/14 Season. Lulu. p. 108.
  3. ^ http://jyllands-posten.dk/aarhus/sport/article6405076.ece
  4. ^ https://cado.dk/reference/moelleparken/
  5. ^ Page 57 "He nutmegged him ! ' 'He did,' said Peter Bailey, wonderingly, 'he did. A proper nutmeg.' What Jack had done, in fact, was to slip the ball between the legs.."
  6. ^ Alex Leith Over the Moon, Brian - The Language of Football
  7. ^ a b c Ingle, Sean (2005-09-07). "Where does the term nutmeg come from - the final word". The Knowledge. London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2006-08-01.
  8. ^ Seddon, Peter. "Football Talk - The Language And Folklore Of The World's Greatest Game"
  9. ^ "Why Do They Call It the Five Hole?". 15 October 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • "The Nutmeg dribbling trick". Expert Football. Retrieved 2005-12-20. — stills of a player executing a nutmeg, demonstrating the trick of pulling the ball back in order to force the defender to open his legs.
  • "Finishing and Scoring". Expert Football. Retrieved 2005-12-20. — A well-positioned goalkeeper may be vulnerable to a nutmeg.