The players with the most nutmegs in 2020-21: Neymar, Sancho, Rashford…
The world of football analytics is getting ever more complex and sophisticated, but for all the really useful statistics out there we’re most grateful that nutmegs are getting totted up.
Never mind passes per defensive action or key passes, nothing else in football evokes the childlike glee of a well-executed nutmeg. The combination of technical ingenuity and humiliation for the opposition player will never fail to entertain us.
To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, when a man is tired of nutmegs, he is tired of life.
Perhaps unsurprisingly from football’s biggest showman, Neymar tops the list of the most nutmegs in Europe’s top five leagues this season, having completed 12 in Ligue 1 (via FBref.com).
The Brazil international has managed three more nutmegs than any other player, and twice as many as anyone else in the French top flight. Jadon Sancho is second, nearing double figures, while Piotr Zielinski and Achraf Hakimi are helping to bring entertainment to Serie A.
Then there’s a quintet of Premier League players, including a couple of names you might not expect, but surprisingly none at all from La Liga have managed more than five – including Lionel Messi, who was something of a nutmeg king before Neymar arrived on the scene.
1. Neymar (PSG) – 12
2. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) – 9
3. Piotr Zielinski (Napoli) – 8
4. Achraf Hakimi (Inter Milan) – 7
=5. Daniel Podence (Wolves) – 6
=5. Matheus Pereira (West Brom) – 6
=5. Richarlison (Everton) – 6
=5. Ademola Lookman (Fulham) – 6
=5. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) – 6
=5. Leonardo Bittencourt (Werder Bremen) – 6
=5. Angel Di Maria (PSG) – 6
=5. Filip Duricic (Sassuolo) – 6