Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

DREAM TEAM

Your Sun

A News UK Company
TOP
CLOSE 'EM

You may not have heard of him, but Angelo Fulgini is officially Europe’s nutmeg king

Túnel. Chuandang. Panna. Petit pont. Beinschuss. Salad. Galla. Toros. Mezhdu nog. Xỏ háng.

The nutmeg goes by many different names, depending on the country in which it is taking place.

Whether a beşik, one-kina or an olé, when the ball passes through an open pair of legs it completes the most damning legal act a footballer can commit on the pitch.

It’s one thing to be finessed by a stepover or Cruyff turn, it’s another to be disrespected by a nutmeg. Just ask David Luiz, who’s still recovering from having his soul removed Luis Suarez not once, but twice in 2015.

For years Ronaldinho was football’s undisputed nutmeg king.

There are five-minute long YouTube compilations dedicated explicitly to Ronaldinho’s nutmegs in which the great and the good from the football world, including Steven Gerrard to Ben Shephard, are humiliated by the Brazilian.

But, now that Ronaldinho has retired into a life of reenacting Mean Machine, who reigns supreme in the land of the nutmegs?

Thanks to data from FBRef, it’s possible to crown an official king from across Europe’s top five leagues.

The court jesters

1
The court jesters

The Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo armies will be heartbroken to hear that their heroes won’t be taking the prize home, although Team Messi stans can find some consolation in the fact that their idol trumps his rival by seven to two.

Neymar- seen by most in football as the natural heir to Ronaldinho when it comes to stealing the opposition’s dignity and posting it online for all to see- has two fewer than Messi, meaning for once in France the silverware won’t be going back to PSG.

To find Europe’s official nutmeg king you need to travel to Angers, home of Angelo Fulgini. The 23-year-old has completed 12 nutmegs in Ligue 1 this season, two more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues.

The French midfielder hasn’t won any senior honours since starting out at Valenciennes in 2015, so the crown of Europe’s nutmeg king will sit proudly upon his head.

A nod of commiseration should go to Wolves’ Diogo Jota, who can hold his head high as runner-up to Fulgini with 10 nutmeg victims in the Premier League this season.

Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and Man United forward Marcus Rashford round out the top three with nine nutmegs apiece, although mitigating circumstances mean they are unlucky not to be higher up the list.

Injury effectively ended Rashford’s season in January, while Davies only became a first-team regular at Bayern when Hans-Dieter Flick replaced Niko Kovac as coach last November.

As for other notable mentions, Jadon Sancho leads a whole host of players who’ve completed eight nutmegs in their various leagues to date while Kylian Mbappe is lagging some way behind with four.

It appears Ligue 1 defences have been focussing on the wrong man. When Fulgini is about, make sure those ankles are clamped together tighter than a submarine door.


READ MORE FROM THE WORLD OF DREAM TEAM: