The Art Of The Nutmeg

It is bad enough when it happens playing with your mates on the street, but when somebody gets you on an 11-a-side football pitch there is nowhere to hide.

I am, of course, talking about somebody sticking the ball through your legs, commonly known as the panna, or the nutmeg.  As well as the sheer embarrassment, the move often leaves the recipient helpless as their opponent bursts away towards goal.

As of yet there seems to be no convenient method of preventing the execution of a nutmeg.  No matter how hard you try, the split second that you leave yourself vulnerable is the moment an attacker will take.

The latest victim of such humiliation is Southampton’s Steven Davis.  To be fair to the former Rangers man, it was Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest players in the world today, who caught him out.  Unfortunately for Davis, though, it did happen in front of thousands of his fellow countrymen, as his Northern Ireland side went down 4-2 after a 15-minute hat-trick from Portugal’s star man in the second half.

Showing off is Ronaldo’s speciality, and he certainly took his opportunity to do so in this match.  Perhaps inspired by Real Madrid’s recent £85 million signing of Wales winger Gareth Bale, the forward may have felt the need to remind people that he is the club’s top dog.

Playing football can be dangerous for your reputation at times, as Steven Davis found out this weekend.  Whenever you are in the presence of a football, remember one thing.  

Beware the nutmeg.