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|Highest governing body||World Freestyle Football Association|
Freestyle football, also known as freestyle soccer in North America, is the art of self-expression with a football while performing various tricks with parts of the body. Similar in style to keepie uppie, kemari and the ball discipline of rhythmic gymnastics, it has become a widespread sport across the world and is practiced by many people. The official governing body for this sport is known as World Freestyle Football Association (W.F.F.A).
Freestyle football involves competitors performances, either three 30-second performances or a single minute-long performance depending on the stage of the competition and the competition's structure. Judges evaluate competitors on six criteria: difficulty, originality, all-around skills, trick execution, mistakes, and variety. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with the hands or arms and such touches are considered mistakes by the judges.
Freestyle football has existed since the early 1900s, but it has seen a surge in popularity as a result of global advertising campaigns and digital media sharing. In the early 21st century, Nike began an advertising campaign which relied heavily on the freestyle form of football, including video clips of freestyle performances. The videos are called Joga Bonito which means "Play Beautiful." These advertisements featured famous players such as Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Edgar Davids. Many link such mass media attention to the start of the freestyle craze. In the YouTube era, however, many previously non-famous players have risen to prominence, and internet searches easily yield thousands of videos by amateur "freestylers" around the world.
Some of the more notable freestylers include: Hee Young Woo (Mr. Woo) of South Korea, Séan Garnier (France), Pawel Skóra (Polish), Michal Rycaj (Polish), D-Eleven (Brazil), Azun (Norwegian), Palle (Swedish), Reynoldz (Irish), Beto (Mexico), Andrew Henderson (UK), Akim Kovalev (Russia), Ricardinho (Brazil), PWG (Philippines), Tokura (Japan), Jawad Blunt (Pakistan), the 5 time Guinness World Record Holder Victor Rubilar and John Farnworth, who appeared inin Britain's Got Talent in 2009. Also in the same year of Britain's Got Talent (series 3) Uefa Training Grounds skill experts Woody & Kleiny were the first freestyle double act to ever hit the programmed screens and the duo were branded by Simon Cowell as the Anty & Decky of football juggling. Men are not the only ones capable of taking part in the sport. Womefreestylersrs are very skilled and hold titles. Kitti Szasz is a 4-time freestyle World Champi onMelody Donchet won the 2014 Street Style World Championship and Indi Cowie is a highly competitive freestyle and a football coachch.
Freestyle has also become very popular in South America, with countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Chile forming freestyle crews of dozens or even hundreds of freestylers, some of the most important Latin Freestylers are Charly Iacono who got to the Semifinals of Talento Argentino, an Argentinian talent show, and Cristian "Rocky" Mayorga who came third in the South Africa 2010 Red Bull Street Style world finals.
Several freestylers have influenced the varying styles within freestyle football including Rickard "Palle" Sjolander, nicknamed the "godfather of air moves". Palle invented many lower body tricks which are now used by several freestylers. Palle's progression of lower body freestyle was enhanced by Pawel Skóra from Poland. Since 2010, the progression within lower body freestyle has been led by a group of around 10 "limit pushers", including Pawel Skóra, MP, Hasip, Ars, Mirko, Gunther, Akim, LKR, Ethan, Memo and more.
The movie In the Hands of the Gods promotes football freestylers. The film followed five lads (Mikey Fisher, Paul Wood, Sami Hall, Danny Robinson, and Jeremy Lynch) on a journey of a lifetime in search of arguably the best football player of all time Diego Maradona. The film became the largest release of a documentary ever in the UK, fourth biggest in the world when it came to screens on its opening weekend, was on show at the Cannes film festival and had a red carpet Leicester Square premier which was green AstroTurf for the boys.
Shortly after the Joga Bonito advertising campaign, Nike launched "Nike Football", a freestyle football competition on the internet in which participants could submit their own clips and receive feedback from a worldwide audience.
In December 2006, the "Masters of The Game" competition was held in Amsterdam and was won by Hassan Muxudin Ali. Nutmeg or Panna and other street football competitions have been held featuring street football players such as Edward Van Gils, Ismael Hamdaoui, and Jermaine Vanenburg.
In 2007 there was a competition in Latin America called Red Bull Reaction.
Also in 2007 Redbull futbol de calle was held in NYC's Webster Hall.
The French Arnaud "Séan" Garnier is the first world champion of Red Bull Street Style Soccer. The final of the Red Bull Street Style competition was held in Brazil In November 2008. Arnaud Garnier "Séan" beat out the other 42 competitors to win the competition.
The 2010 Red Bull street style was held in Cape Town South Africa April 24–28. The winner was Anders "Azun" Solum from Norway, who beat Kamalio Ranchod from South Africa in the final. The latest one was held in Italy where Kotaro Tokuda from Japan came first, and Daniel Dennehy from Ireland finished second.
|Year||Events||General 1st Place||General 2nd Place||General 3rd Place||Calgary Winner||Melbourne Winner|
|2016||2||Andrew Henderson||Michal Michryc Rycaj||Calgary Winner||Andrew Henderson||Michal Michryc Rycaj|
|Year||Events||General 1st Place||General 2nd Place||General 3rd Place||London Winner||Beijing Winner|
|2014||2||Charly Iacono||Boyka||Andrew Henderson||Boyka||Andrew Henderson|
|Year||Events||General 1st Place||General 2nd Place||General 3rd Place||London Winner||Dubai Winner|
|2013||2||Michal Michryc Rycaj||Lukasz Luki Chwieduk||Tobias||Michal Michryc Rycaj||Michal Michryc Rycaj|
|Year||Events||General 1st Place||General 2nd Place||General 3rd Place||Kuala Lumpur Winner|
|2011||1||Andrew Henderson||Gautier||Michryc||Andrew Henderson|
|Year||Location||Battle 1st Place||Battle 2nd Place||Battle 3rd Place||Routine Winner||Sick3 Winner||Challenge Winner|
|2018||Prague, Czech Republic||Erlend||Boyka||Yo||KVP||Krog||Kondzio|
|2017||Prague, Czech Republic||Ricardinho||Pedrinho||Erlend||Gautier||Ricardinho||Timur Alekseev|
|2016||Liberec, Czech Republic||Erlend||Tobias||Emil Källdoff||Gautier||Pavlinoff||Luca Chiarvesio|
|2015||Liberec, Czech Republic||Michal Michryc Rycaj||Erlend||Ricardinho||Gautier||M3mo||Tobias|
|2014||Liberec, Czech Republic||Pedrinho||Tobias||Michal Michryc Rycaj||Gautier||Pavlinoff||M3mo|
|2013||Prague, Czech Republic||Andrew Henderson||Esteban||Lukasz Luki Chwieduk||Gautier||Rocco||McPro|
|2012||Prague, Czech Republic||Andrew Henderson||Michal Michryc Rycaj||Gunther||Gautier|
|2011||Prague, Czech Republic||Szymon Szymo Skalski||Pawel Skóra||Andrew Henderson||Krzysztof Golonka Clyde|
|Year||Location||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place|
|2018||Warsaw, Poland||Erlend Fagerli||Ricardinho||Brynjar Fagerli|
|2016||London, United Kingdom||Charly Iacono||Kosuke Takahashi||McPro|
|2014||Salvador, Brazil||Andrew Henderson||Charly Iacono||Erlend Fagerli|
|2013||Tokyo, Japan||Szymon Szymo Skalski||Charly Iacono||Andrew Henderson|
|2012||Lecce, Italy||Tokura||Daniel Dennehy||Gunther|
|2010||Cape Town, South Africa||Azun||Kamalio||Rocky|
|2008||São Paulo, Brazil||Sean||Yosuke||Murilo Pitol|
|Year||Host||1st place||2nd place||3rd place||Ref.|
|2013||Hanoi, Vietnam||Đỗ Kim Phúc||Đoàn Thanh Tùng||Miguel Angel Casanueva Hurtado|||
|2014||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Philip Warren Gertsson||Mohammad Akbari||Maximiliano Martinez Osuna|||
|2015||Jakarta, Indonesia||Kosuke Takahashi||Philip Warren Gertsson||Yuuki Yoshinaga|||
|2016||Davao City, Philippines||Philip Warren Gertsson||Yo Kamatsuka||Ardhi Andyadi|||
|Year||Manchester, United Kingdom||1st place Brynjar||2nd place Erlend||3rd place Tobias||
|2016||Copenhagen, Denmark||Erlend||Tobias||Brynjar||Anders Borg|
|2015||Amsterdam, Netherlands||Tobias||Maarten||Daniel Mikolaj Mikolajek|
|2014||Brussels, Belgium||Daniel Mikolaj Mikolajek||Michal Michryc Rycaj||Gunther|
|2013||Budapest, Hungary||Cristhian Casilla Escobar||Daniel Mikolaj Mikolajek||Djota|
|Year||Location||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place|
|2016||San Jose, CA, United States||Rodrigo Caballero||"Borgetti" Adalberto Lopez||"Tacho" Jhon Maldonado|
|2015||San Jose, CA, United States||Marvin Rodriguez||"Gio" Jovanny Gonzalez||Cristhian Casilla Escobar|
|2014||San Jose, CA, United States||"Gio" Jovanny Gonzalez||Fahad Al Braiki||Jereminho|
Freestyle football is divided into different disciplines/styles:
Within the above disciplines, the following individual moves are among the most popular:
Combos were introduced in early 2000-2002 and are popular in freestyle football.
Nowadays, the number of new freestylers is constantly increasing so is the number of new moves. Connecting freestyle football with break dance moves has become more popular recently and has given the name to the new style mentioned above - Special. It adds up to creativity in this sport and keeps it developing. This style of performing may be easily noticed in Japan but not solely there.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Football freestyle.|