Remember the Nike ad involving football superstars like Ronaldinho and Edgar Davids performing insane football tricks on mission to steal a football?
Just another promotional advertisement in your view, right? Wrong.
That video marked the beginning of the ascendancy of an art form into a sport.
Welcome to freestyle football.
As regarded by many, Diego Maradona may not be “god” in the professional football arena but in the world of freestyle football, he is GOD.
Prior to him, players like Pele, Johan Cryuff, De Stefano and others all juggled a ball for practice to improve their control techniques (touches, balance, coordination).
But it was Diego who unleashed freestyle football in the early 80s when he displayed his mastery in control (juggle a ball, an orange, a golf ball, a tennis ball etc) and performed in half-time shows during Argentine Clausura matches.
In fact, one of his famous skills of all time was the Maradona 7 where a player juggle the ball with the right foot, then the left foot, followed by the right thigh, then the left thigh, subsequently the right shoulder, then the left shoulder and finally the head.
Maradona’s brilliance inspired Hee Young Woo, who broke the Guinness Book of World Records for football head tricks in 1989 by heading a ball for 5 hours, 6 minutes and 30 seconds and is also known as "the Greatest Football Entertainer in the World".
But that all changed when 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.
It, with the help of sites like Youtube and Joga Bonito, led to the meteoric rise in freestyle football from just an art form into a global sport in itself.
On November 21st, 2005 at Toronto, Canada, the world of freestyle football took a dynamic and new direction with the formation of World Freestyle Football Association, the first ever governing body for the sport.
WFFA performed as a figure head to act as a lead-by-example body and a place for freestylers to come to learn new tricks, be featured and in the process creating events and opportunities for fans and athletes alike
Freestyle football crossed new domains when Jeremy Lynch made it to the semifinals of Britain's Got Talent amazing everyone with his tricks.
Freestyle football has come leaps and bounds from its humble origins and has brought a new dimension to football. Freestyle challenges the player to get involved and inspires them to push their creativity and passion to make their unique contribution to the beautiful game.
Freestyle is about doing whatever you want, whenever you want - make up your own rules!
Freestyle is about performing tricks with style and attitude.
Freestyle is about creativity, originality, hard work, persistence and practice.
Freestyle is all about taking football to the next level.
Wanna take it to the next level? Start your lesson now with Billy Wingrove!
Check out some of the football superstars play freestyle!
Dont miss Street Football!