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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 through creatively juggling a football using any parts 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).
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.
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.
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. [ better source needed ]Soufiane Touzani from the Netherlands introduced a new style of lower tricks, which were popularized through viral videos.
Footballer Sandy Levittas (a.k.a. Bambiball) was among the first women to share videos of her freestyle skills,which inspired more girls to take up the sport. 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. [ timeframe? ] Competitions have been organized across the globe and videos have been shared by over 80 million of people on a monthly basis. [ 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, [ citation needed ]Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimović.
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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:
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 ]
The following tournaments are recognized by the official governing body of the World Freestyle Football Association: [ failed verification ]
Typical events in competitive freestyle football include:[ further explanation needed ][ citation needed ]
This section needs to be updated.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. [ failed verification ][ needs update ]
Other key names that brought their own touch to the art of freestyle football over the years include:
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. [ 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. [ relevant? ]
Juggling is a physical skill, performed by a juggler, involving the manipulation of objects for recreation, entertainment, art or sport. The most recognizable form of juggling is toss juggling. Juggling can be the manipulation of one object or many objects at the same time, most often using one or two hands but also possible with feet. Jugglers often refer to the objects they juggle as props. The most common props are balls, clubs, or rings. Some jugglers use more dramatic objects such as knives, fire torches or chainsaws. The term juggling can also commonly refer to other prop-based manipulation skills, such as diabolo, plate spinning, devil sticks, poi, cigar boxes, contact juggling, hooping, yo-yo, and hat manipulation.
A unicycle is a vehicle that touches the ground with only one wheel. The most common variation has a frame with a saddle, and has a pedal-driven direct drive. A two speed hub is commercially available for faster unicycling. Unicycling is practiced professionally in circuses, by street performers, in festivals, and as a hobby. Unicycles have also been used to create new sports such as unicycle hockey. In recent years, unicycles have also been used in mountain unicycling, an activity similar to mountain biking or trials.
Keepie uppie, keep-ups or kick-ups is the skill of juggling with an association football using feet, lower legs, knees, chest, shoulders, and head, without allowing the ball to hit the ground. It is similar to Kemari, a game formerly practiced in the Japanese imperial court.
A skipping rope or jump rope is a tool used in the sport of skipping/jump rope where one or more participants jump over a rope swung so that it passes under their feet and over their heads. There are multiple subsets of skipping/jump rope, including single freestyle, single speed, pairs, three-person speed, and three-person freestyle.
The terms street football and street soccer encompass a number of informal varieties of association football. These informal pick up games do not necessarily follow the requirements of a formal game of football, such as a large field, field markings, goal apparatus and corner flags, eleven players per team, or match officials.
Vladimir, known as Vova, and Olga Galchenko were a brother and sister juggling team originally from Russia, active from approximately 2001 to 2009. They specialized in club juggling, particularly technical solo juggling, technical club passing and numbers club passing.
Freestyle BMX is bicycle motocross stunt riding on BMX bikes. It is an extreme sport descended from BMX racing that consists of five disciplines: street, park, vert, trails, and flatland. In June 2017, the International Olympic Committee announced that it was to be added as an Olympic event to the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Flatland is a freestyle BMX riding style performed on smooth flat surfaces that do not include any ramps, jumps, or grindrails. It is sometimes described as a form of artistic cycling with a blend of breakdancing.
The kendama is a traditional Japanese skill toy. It consists of a handle (ken), a pair of cups (sarado), and a ball (tama) that are all connected together by a string. On one end of the ken is a cup, while the other end of ken is narrowed down, forming a spike (kensaki) that fits into the hole (ana) of the tama. The kendama is the Japanese version of the classic cup-and-ball game, and is also a variant of the French cup-and-ball game bilboquet. Kendama can be held in different grips, and the tricks and combinations that can be done are limitless. The principle of these toys is the same: catching one object with another, where both are joined by a string.
Woo Hee-young, also known as Mr. Woo, is a South Korean former footballer and freestyle footballer.
Daniel Rooseboom de Vries is a Dutch freestyle footballer from Gorinchem, Netherlands.
A footbag is the term for a small, round bag usually filled with plastic pellets or sand, which is kicked into the air as part of a competitive game or as a display of dexterity. "Hacky Sack" is the name of a brand of footbag popular in the 1970s, which has since become a generic trademark.
A toe punt is a method of kicking the ball in association football. Unlike other methods of kicking, the toe punt uses the toe end of the boot rather than the instep or laces.
Soufiane Touzani is a Dutch-Moroccan freestyle footballer and television host from Rotterdam. He introduced new football tricks and because of this he became the pioneer of modern freestyle football. In 2005, he uploaded a video on YouTube and this became an international success with millions of views. The video also caught the attention of Electronic Arts and they asked him to perform the tricks for the PlayStation game Fifa Street. Famous football players like Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie watched his videos. Neymar even performed some of his tricks: Touzani Around the World and a trick called “New Shit”. His popularity rose and because of that he received invitations from several countries to show his tricks. He performed worldwide and the pinnacle was a performance with Ronaldinho in a full San Siro Stadium.
Arnaud "Séan" Garnier is a French freestyle footballer. He began as an association football player, notably for Auxerre and Troyes, but his professional career was cut short due to injuries.
Muhammad Jawad Aftab commonly known as Jawad Blunt is a two time freestyle football champion from Pakistan. He started his career as a professional football freestyler in 2012 and won his first national title in Pakistan Football Freestyle Championship. On September 8, 2016 Jawad was crowned Freestyle Football Champion by Red Bull Pakistan delegation at The Centaurus Mall Islamabad. He is currently ranked 37th in the world ranking of Freestyle Football Federation F3.
Liv Cooke is a British professional football freestyler, current five-time world record holder, and former freestyle world champion. She is a BBC sports presenter and UEFA ambassador, who has previously been awarded the Parliamentary Rising Star and Woman of the Future awards. Although best known for her freestyle football, social media videos, and television presenting, Cooke is also the founder of Liv Cooke Properties Ltd and co-founder of Winning Wealth Ltd.
The World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA) is an international governing body of Freestyle Football.
Ricardo Fabiano Chahini de Araujo, also known as Ricardinho, is a Brazilian freestyle footballer from Belém do Pará, who was the 2019 Red Bull Street Freestyle world champion.
Red Bull Street Style World Championship 2019 was a freestyle competition where qualified freestylers took part in the finals of Freestyle Football. Competitors exhibited their top tricks and unique moves in a 2v2 battle format held over three minutes. The 2019 finals took place at WynWood village, Miami Beach in Florida. It was won by Ricardo Fabiano Chahini in men`s category and Melody Donchet in the women category
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