Jesus Navas sent us back to peak La Liga by rolling Vini Jr into oblivion with a filthy nutmeg
Scientists ought to investigate the mind and body of Jesus Navas when he eventually passes, in a bid to understand exactly how he’s managed to achieve such devastating longevity in La Liga.
While plenty of footballers these days are capable of playing well into their thirties, there’s playing for the sake of playing – and the paycheque – and there’s still balling out at the top level of the game as a key component to an impressive side.
Navas is exactly that and shows no signs of slowing down. Despite turning 38 years old next month, he can still shuffle his hips like a Strictly Come Dancing professional and muster up all the footballing arrogance of a fresh-faced teenager in the senior game.
It’s not quite as often as it perhaps once was, but that’s what makes little moments like his brief showing of brilliance against Real Madrid all the more special.
Unless your name is Vinicius Junior.
The Brazilian winger is usually the man we’re waxing lyrical about when it comes to sickening twists, turns and nutmegs, but he was brought back down to reality by the wily old veteran that is Navas as Real Madrid butted heads with Sevilla.
A clash of the titans in the Spanish domestic calendar, two sides with extensive European pedigree – albeit incredibly different levels – came to blows as Sergio Ramos faced his former employers for the first time.
Naturally, that ended in the most Sergio Ramos way possible – squabbling with the resident psycho that replaced him in Madrid.
But after the tensions calmed down inside the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, Navas brought the heat back to the boil once again with a filthy nutmeg for the ages – making a fool out of one of the silliest players in world football.
Let’s not act like we didn’t see Jesus Navas’s nutmeg on generational talent Vinicius.
— Precious Jeremiah 💙❤️ (@Precious_jr21) October 21, 2023
Oh, Jesus. That is naughty.
Not just any nutmeg, the backheel nutmeg. On Vinicius Junior of all people.
If there’s anybody who knows just how devastating the blow between the legs can be, it’s him. And he’s been caught out be a 37-year-old winger-turned-full-back. Ouch.
This is a man who hails from a nation where they teach that sort of stuff in the school curriculum. Getting done by it merits a hefty detention – at the very least.
It’s so good, it’s the kind of nutmeg you get done with once and can do nothing but collapse to your knees following a desperate bid to stop the inevitable.
Jelly legs. Don’t run from it. Just embrace it. Appreciate the art of sheer skill and sh*thousery all in one, slick backheel.
While we’re at it, though, let’s give Ferland Mendy his flowers for responding in the only way one can after watching their colleague have their soul sucked out of them from the most devastating move in all of football – by absolutely clattering Navas and sending him down to the floor in a heap.
No nonsense stuff. The only appropriate response to such a situation. Re-establish some dominance and ‘let them know you’re there’ as the trope goes.
If he didn’t know before, Navas certainly did now after feeling the full brunt of the full-back’s NFL-style tackle.
But would he do it all again for the sake of that sweet, sweet nutmeg? Of course he bloody would. That’s not even a question.
Thirty seconds or so of pure, unbridled, vintage La Liga. You love to see it.
By Mitch Wilks