Freestyle football

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John Farnworth performing a freestyle trick in Singapore in 2011, where he broke two records

Freestyle football, also known as freestyle soccer in North America, is the art of self-expression with a football, while performing various tricks with any part 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 practised by many people.

Increase in popularity[edit]

Freestyle football has existed since the early 1900s,[1] 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 Beautifully." 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.[2]

Some of the more notable freestylers include: Hee Young Woo (Mr. Woo) of South Korea, Pawel Skora (Polish), Michal Rycaj (Polish), Beto (Mexican), Azun (Norwegian),Palle (Swedish), Reynoldz (Irish), Victor Rubilar,Kamalio. Four time Guinness World Record Holder[3] and John Farnworth, who appeared in Britain's Got Talent in 2009. Also in the same year of Britain's Got Talent (series 3) Uefa Training Grounds skill experts[4] Woody & Kleiny were the first freestyle double act to ever hit the programmes screens and the duo were branded by Simon Cowell as the Anty & Decky[5] of football juggling. Moreover, men are not the only ones capable of training this sports discipline. Since it started spreading all over the world more and more women have been taking up freestyle football. Some of the most notable women in the sport are current World Champion Kitti Szász (Hungarian) as well as runner up Mélody Donchet and North American non-competitive but high level freestyler Indi Cowie.

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 Semi finals 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.

Freestyle pioneers[edit]

Several freestylers have had an impact on the varying styles within freestyle football including Rickard "Palle" Sjolander, nicknamed the "godfather of airmoves". Palle invented many lower body tricks which are now used by several freestylers. Palle's progression of lower body freestyle was enhanced by Pawel Skora from Poland. Since 2010, the progression within lowerbody freestyle has been led by a group of around 10 "limit pushers", including Pawel Skora, 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.[6]

Freestyle competitions[edit]

Freestyle Footballers freestyling at the Red Bull Arena (Salzburg).

Shortly after the Joga Bonito advertising campaign Nike launched a freestyle football competition on the internet "Nike Football" in which participants could submit their own clips and receive feedback from a worldwide audience.

In December 2006 the "Masters of The Game" competition, 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 'Edje', Issy Hitman, and Jermaine Vanenburg 'Vaantje'.

In 2007 there was a competition in Latin America called Red Bull Reaccion.

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.

List of International Competitions and Winners[edit]

F3 World Tour[edit]

Year Events General 1st Place General 2nd Place General 3rd Place United Kingdom London Winner United Arab Emirates Dubai Winner
2013 2 Poland Michryc Poland Luki Norway Tobias Poland Michryc Poland Michryc

Superball - World Open Championships[edit]

Year Location Battle 1st Place Battle 2nd Place Battle 3rd Place Routine Winner
2014 Czech Republic Liberec, Czech Republic Brazil Pedrinho Norway Tobias Poland Michryc France Gautier
2013 Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic United Kingdom Andrew Henderson Mexico Esteban Poland Luki France Gautier
2012 Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic United Kingdom Andrew Henderson Poland Michryc Italy Gunther France Gautier
2011 Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic Poland Szymo Poland Pawel Skora United Kingdom Andrew Henderson Poland Clyde

Red Bull Street Style[edit]

Year Location 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
2013 Japan Tokyo, Japan Poland Szymo Argentina Charly United Kingdom Andrew Henderson
2012 Italy Lecce, Italy Japan Tokura Republic of Ireland Daniel Dennehy Italy Gunther
2010 South Africa Cape Town, South Africa Norway Azun South Africa Kamalio
2008 Brazil Sao Paulo, Brazil France Sean Japan Yosuke Brazil Murilo

F3 European Championships[edit]

Year Location 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
2014 Belgium Brussels, Belgium Poland Mikolaj Poland Michryc Italy Gunther
2013 Hungary Budapest, Hungary Poland Luki Poland Mikolaj Serbia Djota

Freestyle tricks[edit]

Freestyle football is divided into different disciplines/styles:

  • Lowerbody/Air Moves - This is the most popular with the new generation of freestylers. The ball is kept aloft using mainly the feet and legs. This style is considered to be the most difficult and the one that gives a multitude of opportunities to come up with new moves and impressive combinations.
  • Upperbody - This style is very popular in Japan and Russia. Most tricks are done with the head, chest and shoulders.
  • Sitting/Sit Down - This style has become well known. All tricks are executed while sitting on the floor with your legs in the air, and the inability to move after the ball greatly increases the difficulty of any trick performed.
  • Groundmoves - These are normal football moves, but then executed without an opponent. Skillful players can make the performance of groundmoves seem like a choreographed dance.
  • Special - This style has been introduced recently and refers to the acrobatic or break dance moves performed with a football that are becoming more popular in the freestyle football world.

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

  • One well-known move is known as the Maradona 7, in which the player must play the ball with the right foot, then the left foot, then the right thigh, then the left thigh, then the right shoulder, then the left shoulder, and finally the head.
  • Around the World (ATW) is also popular; in this move, the player plays the ball off of one foot, and that foot then circles up and over the ball before returning underneath to play the ball again. It is subdivided into Inside and Outside depending on the direction in which you make the turn.
  • Crossover is one of the basic tricks. This move requires the player to kick the ball into the air by his trail leg, while the other leg goes around the ball.
  • Toe Bounce (TB): Similar to Crossover but without making the leap, letting the ball bounce in the foot.
  • Hop the World (HTW) is a famous move performed by pro footballers and freestylers all around the world. Kick the ball up with one foot, and circle the other around the ball.
  • Touzani around the World (TATW) is a favorite of most, It is a variation of an outside ATW and a crossover.
  • Mitchy around the World (MATW) is also a favorite. The same as TAWT except with an inside ATW.
  • Alternative Mitchy around the World" (AMATW) is a variation of a HTW and a crossover.
  • Lemmens Around the World (LATW) is a double ATW (you circle your foot twice around the ball in the air without a middle touch between the two revolutions).
  • Palle Around the World(PATW) is a triple ATW (you circle your foot three times around the ball in the air without a middle touch between the three revolutions).
  • Stall moves involve catching the ball in a stationary position. Many freestylers are able to catch the ball on their foreheads, the backs of their necks, or wedged between their heel and the back of their thigh.
  • Combos are where one trick is connected to another without juggling the ball. For example (lower combos):

1. Simple combo : ATW - crossover; ATW - ATW; ATW-cross-ATW; ATW - HTW; HTW-ATW; crossover- ATW. 2. Intermediate combo : ATW - ATW - cross - HTW - ATW; toebounce (TB) - ATW - ATW - HTW - TATW. 3. Pro combo : ATW - ATW - HTW - HTW - ATW - TATW - TATW - {TATW - ATATW (no touch)}- LATW - ATW - ALATW.

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 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.

List of Tricks in Freestyle[edit]

AIRMOVES:

-Beginners

  • Atw(Around the world)
  • Htw(Hop the world)
  • Toe Bounce
  • Reverse Toe Bounce
  • Cross Over
  • Reverse Crossover
  • Simple Cross or X Over
  • Cross over 360
  • Knee Atw
  • Knee Htw

-Medio

  • Colin ATW
  • Touzani Atw(TATW)
  • Mitch Atw(MATW)
  • Abbas Atw(AATW)

-Intermediary

  • Alternate Touzani Atw(ATATW)
  • Alternate Mitchy Atw(AMATW)
  • Timo Atw or Touzani abbas Atw
  • Mitchy Abbas Atw(MAATW)
  • Knee Mitchy Atw(KMATW)
  • Knee Touzani Atw(KTATW)
  • Dore Atw(DATW)
  • 360 Atw
  • Homie Touzani Atw(HTATW)
  • Homie Mitchy Atw(HMATW)
  • Homie jay atw (HJATW)
  • Lemmens Atw(LATW)
  1. -Advanced
  • Knee Alternate Mitchy Atw(KAMATW)
  • Knee Alternate Touzani Atw(KATATW)
  • knee Abbas Atw(KAATW)
  • Knee Timo Atw
  • Knee Mitchy Abbas Atw(KMAATW)
  • Palle Trick
  • Reverse Palle Trick
  • Lemmens Touzani Atw(LTATW)
  • Lemmens Mitchy Atw(LMATW)
  • Alternate Lemmens Atw(ALATW)
  • Magellan
  • Joshua around the opposite world(JATOW)
  • Michryc Atw
  • Beck Atw(BATW)
  • New Shit
  • Toe stall
  • Alternative homie Mitchy around the world(AHMATW)
  • Alternative homie Touzani around the world(AHTATW)
  • Filip atw(FATW)
  • jimmy trick
  • kumail crossover
  1. -Pro
  • Skora Atw(SATW)
  • Reverse skora atw(RSATW)
  • Szymo Atw(Szatw)(szymo mitchy atw(SzMATW,japa atw NOTE:inside szatw is japa atw
  • Palle Atw(PATW)
  • Alternative palle atw(APATW)
  • Palle mitchy atw(PMATW)
  • Palle touzani atw(PTATW)
  • Skala Atw (skala mitchy atw)
  • Eldo Atw (alternative eldo atw,eldo mitchy atw)
  • Homie Touzani Lemmens Atw(HTLATW)
  • Homie Mitchy Lemmens Atw(HMLATW)
  • Skora trick
  • MP trick
  • k3eatw (alternative k3vin eldo atw,k3vin eldomitchy atw)
  • Ethan Move
  • Ethan Trick
  • Akim move
  • Homie touzani Lemmens Mitch ATW(HTLMATW)
  • Henderson Move
  • AK Move
  • Cazy Feet ATW(CFATW)
  • Zegan ATW(ZATW)
  • MP ATW
  • Iago around the world(IATW)
  • Lebioda Around the world(Lebatw)
  • Lebioda Mitchy Around the world(Lebmatw)
  • Lemmens Beck ATW(LBATW)
  • Alternative Eldo Mitchy ATW(AEMATW)
  • Palle Abbas ATW(PAATW)

BASICS UPPERBODY:

  • Footstall
  • Backheel stall
  • Around the body
  • Hamstring stall
  • Kneestall
  • Cheststall
  • Shoulder Stall
  • Neckstall
  • ATM (Aroud The Moon)
  • 360
  • In the ditch
  • Sean Upper Trick
  • Headstall
  • Nosestall
  • Lipstall
  • Sideheadstall
  • Propeller

BASICS SITDOWNS:

  • X-over
  • Crossover
  • Reverse crossover
  • Abdulah Trick
  • Half ATW
  • ATW
  • Sole Stall
  • Sole Juggling
  • Shin Stall
  • Eclipse
  • TATW

BASICS GROUNDMOVES:

  • AKKA(Flip flap,Hocus Pocus)
  • Stepover
  • Reverse stepover
  • Sleeper
  • Stretch
  • Klapper
  • Clapping
  • Back stretch
  • The hop
  • "Edje" move
  • Mo'combo
  • X skip or Nelson move
  • Ankle breaker

Akkas(air moves)

  • Basic air Akka move (inside or outside)
  • Knee Akka (inside or outside)
  • Issy Akka or Akka 3000

0.5Revolution Trick

  • Cossover /CO
  • Reverse Crossover /RCO
  • Heel Crossover /HCO

1Revolution Trick

  • (in/out)Around The World /ATW
  • Half Around The World /HATW
  • (in/out)Hop The World /HTW
  • (in/out)Knee Around The World
  • (in/out)Knee Hop The World

1.5Revolution Trick

  • Touzani Around The World / TATW
  • Mitchy Around The World / MATW 
  • (in/out)Abbas Around The World / AATW
  • Alternative Touzani Around The World
  • Alternative Mitchy Around The World
  • Jay Around The World / outATW+RCO
  • Half Homie Jay Around The World
  • Lemmens Crossover
  • Alternative Lemmens Crossover

2Revolution Trick

  • (in/out)Lemmens Around The World / LATW
  • Alternative Lemmens Around The World / ALATW 
  • Homie Touzani Around The World / HTATW outATW+HTW
  • Homie Mitchy Around The World / HMATW inATW+HTW
  • Alternative Homie Touzani Around The World
  • Alternative Homie Mitchy Around The World
  • Magellan / ouATW+inATW
  • Nallegam / inATW+outATW
  • Homie Jay Around The World / outATW+outHTW
  • Alternative Homie Jay Around The World

2.5Revolution Trick

  • Palle Trick / HTATW+CO
  • Reverse Palle Trick / HMATW+CO
  • Skora Around The World / AHMATW+CO
  • Reverse Skora Around The World / AHTATW+CO
  • FX Around The World / HTATW+CO

3Revolution Trick

  • Palle Around The World / PATW
  • Skala Around The World / outATW+AHMATW
  • Eldo Around The World / EATW inATW+AHMATW
  • Szymo Around The World / outLATW+HTW
  • Zegan Around The World / outATW+LATW
  • Homie Touzani Lemmens Around The World / outATW+ALATW
  • Homie Mitchy Lemmens Around The World / inATW+ALATW
  • Skora Move / outATW+AHTATW
  • MP Trick / inATW+AHTATW
  • AK Move / inATW+HTATW
  • Ethan Trick / inATW+LATW
  • Akim Move / outATW+ALATW(magellan)
  • Henderson Move / outATW+HTATW
  • k3vin Szymo Around The World
  • k3vin Eldo Around The World
  • Crazy Feet Around The World / outATW+HJATW
  • iago Around The World / inATW+HMATW

Freestyle in Association Football[edit]

Although freestyle football exists on a standalone basis in its own right, the incorporation of freestyle skills into association football has enabled both sports to leverage off one another. Notable association football players who incorporate freestyle tricks into their game include Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Robinho, Ricardo Quaresma, Garrincha, Neymar and many other players.

Freestyle Football Websites[edit]

There are some freestyle football forums where it is easy to find out more about tricks and meet many freestylers that may impart some advice on how to practise efficiently. This is also a place where on-line competitions are organized. The internationally well-known websites are: SSA Freestylers Global Freestyle, Italian Football Freestyle Show,UK Football Freestyle, German Freestyle Football,Mexican Football Freestyle, BeyondFootball and Freestyle Football Federation

Launched in June 2014, Freestyle Football TV is the first TV channel dedicated to Freestyle Football. News, tricks and events on a 24/7 mode : Freestyle Football TV

References[edit]

4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbAjQaQlNBg