This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Freestyle football" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article relies excessively on references to primary sources. Please improve this by adding secondary or tertiary sources. Find sources: "Freestyle football" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (September 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Freestyle football
Football freestyle 2013 Masters epee t171023.jpg
Football freestyle demonstration at the 2013 Masters à l'Epée
Highest governing bodyWorld Freestyle Football Association[1]
Characteristics
ContactNo
TypeBall sport
EquipmentFootball
Presence
OlympicNo

Freestyle football is the art of juggling a football using any part of the body, excluding the elbows to the hands. It combines football tricks, dance, acrobatics and music to entertain onlookers and compete with opponents. The official governing body for this sport is known as the World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA).[1][2]

History

The art of freestyle football can be traced to games of Southeast Asia such as chinlone, jianzi and sepak takraw, which have been practised for 2,000 years. Fundamental freestyle tricks such as the 'Neck Stall' and 'Around The World' were first popularly performed in the West by circus performers, notably including Enrico Rastelli and Francis Brunn.[3][4]

In the 1970s and 1980s, Argentine footballer Diego Maradona famously brought his freestyle 'Life is Life' warm-up to international attention while playing for SSC Napoli. The ability to freestyle, however, was widely criticized at the time as not having direct relevance to playing the game of football.[citation needed]

At the beginning of the 21st century, several significant events helped elevate freestyle football with broader recognition. Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho starred in Nike advertising campaigns such as 'Joga Bonito' (English: The Beautiful Game), which popularized the ability to practice alone with a ball and develop new moves and tricks.[5]

Inspired by Maradona, South Korean footballer Mr Woo sought to become a football entertainer. He established Guinness world records and performed at the 1988 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, and the FIFA World Cups in 1990 and 1994.[6] Soufiane Touzani[7] from the Netherlands introduced a new style of lower tricks, which were popularized through viral videos.[7][better source needed]

Footballer Sandy Levittas (a.k.a. Bambiball) was among the first women to share videos of her freestyle skills,[8][9] which inspired more girls to take up the sport.[10][11] Different styles were then developed such as lowers, uppers, sit-downs, grounds and blocking.

In 2015, Ronaldinho was recognized by the World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA) as ambassador for the sport.[4][timeframe?] Competitions have been organized across the globe and videos have been shared by over 80 million of people on a monthly basis.[12][failed verification]

In recent years, some of the top football players in the world have credited freestyle and street football cultures for helping to develop their talents. These athletes have included Neymar Jr,[13][14] Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimović.[citation needed]

Tricks

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Tricks or moves in freestyle football are categorized into different disciplines or styles:

Within the above disciplines, the following individual moves are among the most popular:

Competitive freestyle

The first major competition for freestyle football was Red Bull Street Style (RBSS) in 2008, which was hosted in São Paulo, Brazil.[citation needed] Séan Garnier won this competition with a style that had not been seen in the public eye before.[citation needed]

Super Ball, the first open world championship (where anyone could compete) catered to freestylers with ranging styles, recognizing the many ways to judge a freestyler. Hosted in the Czech Republic, Super Ball became the premiere annual international event for freestylers.[citation needed]

Tournaments

The following tournaments are recognized by the official governing body of the World Freestyle Football Association:[15][failed verification]

Events

Typical events in competitive freestyle football include:[further explanation needed][citation needed]

Ranked freestylers

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (September 2019)

The WFFA uses results from the official national championships, continental championships, international opens and world open competitions to assign a point ranking to competitors.[16][failed verification][needs update]

WFFA Committee

This section may contain indiscriminate, excessive, or irrelevant examples. Please improve the article by adding more descriptive text and removing less pertinent examples. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for further suggestions. (September 2019)

Other key names that brought their own touch to the art of freestyle football over the years include:

Media

In January 2019, freestyle football has received over 80 million video views per month on social media channels.[citation needed] There are over 70 related events every year, the largest being the Red Bull Street Style World Final. The sport is enjoyed mainly by a demographic of 12–25 year-olds, with 85% male.[59][60][61][failed verification]

Major markets in terms of consumption of freestyle football content include the United States, Mexico, Brazil, UK, Spain, Poland, France, the Middle East, China, Japan and South East Asia, with a direct audience of 1.47 billion football fans around the globe.[62][relevant?]

References

  1. ^ a b c "World Freestyle Football Association news". www.thewffa.org. Archived from the original on July 30, 2019. Retrieved Oct 19, 2019.
  2. ^ "Freestyle football in Russia". FIFA.com. 2016-07-23. Archived from the original on September 5, 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
  3. ^ "The History of Freestyle Football" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-27. Retrieved 2011-03-09.
  4. ^ a b "World Freestyle Football Association news".
  5. ^ House, Future Publishing Limited Quay; Ambury, The; Engl, Bath BA1 1UA All rights reserved; number 2008885, Wales company registration (Jun 25, 2019). "The 14 best football adverts EVER". FourFourTwo. Retrieved Oct 19, 2019.
  6. ^ "Woo magic woos fans". 2002-06-30.
  7. ^ a b http://www.touzaniproductions.nl/ Touzani Productions
  8. ^ "Urban ball : Sandy Levittas, la "Ronaldinho" au féminin".
  9. ^ "Scènes Urbaines Ep06 Foot Freestyle féminin - Vidéo dailymotion". 7 May 2010.
  10. ^ "France - S. Levittas - Profile with news, career statistics and history - Soccerway".
  11. ^ "Freestyler is kicking things up a notch in the world of soccer". ABC News.
  12. ^ "Brits lead freestyle revolution". BBC. 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
  13. ^ "Neymar Jr on futsal, street football and tricks". 2016-09-13.
  14. ^ "Neymar Jr's Five - Malmö". Red Bull.
  15. ^ "World Freestyle Football Association news".
  16. ^ "World Freestyle Football Association news".
  17. ^ "Freestyle Football".
  18. ^ "An Exclusive with Andrew Henderson, Freestyle's Most Dominant Athlete, and Why He's Still the Best in the Game". 2017-04-18.
  19. ^ "Freestyle football star Melody Donchet works her magic | DW | 11.06.2019". Deutsche Welle.
  20. ^ "Abaya-Wearing Melody Donchet Wows Dubai Crowd with Ball Skills". 2016-07-03.
  21. ^ "Red Bull Content Pool".
  22. ^ "Red Bull Women's Street Style Finals - Melody Donchet - Sportsnet.ca". www.sportsnet.ca. Retrieved Oct 19, 2019.
  23. ^ "Pokazy Freestyle Football - Aktualny Mistrz Świata, Półfinalista Mam Talent oraz Czołowy Światowy Performer - Michał Rycaj".
  24. ^ "Kitti Szász". Kitti Szász. Retrieved Oct 19, 2019.
  25. ^ "Kitti Szasz · Female Football Freestyler · Budapest, Hungary".
  26. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Football freestyler Kitti Szász | DW | 15.07.2017". Retrieved Oct 19, 2019 – via www.dw.com.
  27. ^ "Female Freestylers - Kitti Szasz (Hungary)".
  28. ^ "Is Erlend Fagerli Freestyle Football's GOAT?". 2019-01-18.
  29. ^ "Erlend Fagerli - Redbull Street Style".
  30. ^ "Fagerli Brothers".
  31. ^ "Fagerli Brothers - "Be very focused on taking one step" - Interview". 2018-09-11.
  32. ^ "Aguska - London".
  33. ^ "Freestyler's Playlist: The Tracks that Fueled Aguska Mnich's Red Bull Street Style World Title". 2018-12-14.
  34. ^ "Aguska Mnich crowned first-ever Women's European Football Freestyle champion after epic finale in Budapest". 2019-05-18.
  35. ^ "World Freestyle Football Association news".
  36. ^ "From Vietnam to Ireland, Nam the Man Spreads the Passion and Promise of Freestyle Football". July 2016.
  37. ^ "How to do Heel Juggles | Freestyle Football Training | Palle".
  38. ^ "Palle: Around the World".
  39. ^ "Palle".
  40. ^ "From the Archives — Palle's interview". 2018-04-08.
  41. ^ "Street style soccer tricks". Red Bull.
  42. ^ https://ca.linkedin.com/in/steve-elias-06515b20[self-published source]
  43. ^ "Steve Elias Shows Us How to SWRL". 2016-03-11.
  44. ^ "Eli Freeze - Journey to FIFA World Cup Final Brazil".
  45. ^ "Uganda's finest freestyle ball juggler Andy Skillz lands invite to 2019 Africa Olympic Beach Games". Kawowo.com. 2019-03-16. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  46. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (2018-02-23). "Meet John Farnworth, the man attempting to juggle a football up Everest". The Telegraph.
  47. ^ "John Farnworth - Freestyle Magic - CBBC - BBC".
  48. ^ "Leeds Metropolitan University - Latest News - Round the World Record with soccer freestyler and Leeds Carnegie - 20/03/08". Archived from the original on 2011-07-17.
  49. ^ "Jeon kwon".
  50. ^ "JK 아트사커 온라인 - YouTube". YouTube.
  51. ^ "WATCH: Soccer Freestyler Defies Gravity, Climbs a Lamppost". HuffPost. 2012-12-07.
  52. ^ "Most steps climbed backwards on a ladder while controlling a football with the feet".
  53. ^ "Iya Traoré, du PSG à la rue!". 2010-10-12.
  54. ^ "Football Freestyler - Abbas Farid Nike Champion".
  55. ^ "The king of keepie-uppie". 2003-06-27.
  56. ^ "Football's freestyler".
  57. ^ "The Japan Freestyle Football Championship Was an Insane Display of Creativity and Personal Style". 2017-05-18.
  58. ^ "Japanese Freestyler Yosuke Yokota Proves He's Still a Creative Beast". 2016-02-19.
  59. ^ noCtrl. "World Freestyle Football Association news". www.thewffa.org (in Czech). Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  60. ^ "Beyond Football -".
  61. ^ "World Freestyle Football Association news".
  62. ^ "World Freestyle Football Association news".