Red Bull Street Style, the pioneer and most prestigious of all freestyle football tournaments, celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2018 with an amazing comeback in cooperation with the World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA).
Qualifiers will be held in over fifty nations around the world during the year. Only the best athletes from every country will compete in the World Finals, which will take place in Warsaw, Poland, on November the 22nd.
Freestyle football is the art of doing tricks with a football… but it’s not only the fancy moves which make this sport unique: freestyle is a lifestyle that transcends the sport to become a form of art.
The range of tricks a freestyler can do is simply endless. The roots of freestyle football as a global phenomenon date from back in the 1980s, when the Argentinian football legend Diego Armando Maradona started performing them in his famous warm-ups.
During the 1990s, the sport gained popularity particularly thanks to two South Korean freestylers, Mr Woo and Kang Sung Min, but it was not until the dawn of the new millennium when freestyle football made a huge leap forward: TV commercials starring Ronaldinho and Mr Woo launched the sport towards a huge mainstream audience, and Soufiane Touzani’s Youtube videos helped it reaching a new generation of players.
The newly created national and continental tournaments which appeared in the mid-2000s gave freestylers a boost of motivation to train and develop their own style. In 2008, freestyle football made its definitive step towards thanks to the support of Red Bull, which organised the first major global competition: Red Bull Street Style. Its first champion was the French Sean Garnier, who won the title in Brazil with a unique approach that had never been seen before.
Since then, Red Bull Street Style has crowned world champions in South Africa (Azun, from Norway, won the title in Cape Town in 2010), in Italy (Tokura, from Japan, won in Lecce in 2012), Japan (Szymo, from Poland, won in Tokyo in 2013), Brazil (Andrew, from the UK, won in Salvador de Bahía in 2014) and the UK (Mélody Donchet, from France, and Charly Iacono, from Argentina, won the female and male competitions respectively in London in 2016).
Who will be next? Don’t miss the new episode of this unique tournament on November the 22nd!