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Top 5 nutmegs in world football

Even the great Cristiano Ronaldo was victim to a brutal nutmeg by Dani Alves
Modified 19 Oct 2016
Top 5 / Top 10

The technique of sliding the ball between an opponent’s legs, and gaining extra acclaim when the attacking player retains possession after performing the trick is what we know as a 'nutmeg'. 

The origination of the word has long been debated. The most popular theory being that it was a slang for the male private anatomy- a concept put forward by Countdown star Susie Dent, of Dictionary Corner.

It is believed to have come into practice when nutmeg (a spice from a tree in the genus Myristica) exports took place between America and England in the 18th century. Since nutmeg was a valuable commodity then, exporters used to mix wooden replicas into the sacks that were being shipped across the Atlantic.

Nutmeg soon came to imply stupidity on the part of the outwit victim and smartness on the part of the trickster. It later caught on in football, where it meant that the player through whose legs the ball had been played had been tricked, or, nutmegged. In Spanish, the skill is known as ‘cano’ or ‘tunel’. 

Here are five of the best in World Football so far.

Please note: The opinions aired in this article are those of the writer and do not represent those of Sportskeeda

#5 Romario fools Maradona with 'cano'

Magic happened when two of the South American continent's most iconic footballing exponents - Diego Armando Maradona and Romário de Souza Faria came face to face playing for their respective countries. 


The entire world was left stunned when one of the greatest players of the century and a footballing legend across the globe Diego Armando Maradona was nutmegged by his Selecao counterpart Romario. Maradona, who was well known for leaving defenders red-faced, had a bitter taste of his own medicine

In 1993 the Brazilian moved to Barcelona and became part of Johan Cruyff’s ‘dream team’, which included legends like Pep Guardiola and José Mari Bakero.

He formed an exceptional strike partnership with Bulgarian footballer Hristo Stoichkov. Romario won the La Liga in his first season and finished at the top of the leaderboard with 30 goals in 33 matches

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Published 19 Oct 2016, 10:17 IST
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