Careers > Freestyle football: the tricks of the trade

Posted on November 9, 2016

Freestyler Billy Wingrove performing for the 'Everybody Dreams' song for Tottenham flashmob video

Freestyler Billy Wingrove performing for the ‘Everybody Dreams’ song for Tottenham flashmob video

Ilias El Ghzaoui describes a sport that’s growing in popularity
Did you know that the first ever football freestyler to get a professional contract was Billy Wingrove who signed for Spurs in 2005?

Freestyle football is when you perform various tricks with any part of your body, using a football.

It’s been around for more than 100 years but has seen an increase in popularity recently as a result of global advertising campaigns and social media.

Unlike the actual sport of football, freestyling is mostly done individually, but it can be done as a team of two or three players. Freestyling lets you express yourself freely to show off your tricks.

I first got into freestyling a few years ago when I saw my brother watching a YouTube video and I really enjoyed seeing what freestylers can do.

I have been following many different freestylers ever since but my favourites are The F2 Freestylers because they are the best duo in the world in my opinion.

I have tried performing many of the freestyle skills but I can only do a few, as they are really hard and it takes dedication and grit.

Some of my favourite skills from The F2 Freestylers are The Lynch Snap, The Super Switch and The Samba Rocket.

The Lynch Snap
You perform this when a defender is over your left shoulder. Plant your left foot into the ground. Then bring your right foot around the ball and use the outside of your right boot to snap the ball backwards 180 degrees. Finally, spin your body in the opposite direction and sprint away with the ball.

The Super Switch
First of all you take a touch with the outside of your strong foot. Then, using your strong foot, drag the ball across your body to your other foot. Finally you bring your other foot forward and take a double touch of the ball between your two feet and sprint away with the ball.

The Samba Rocket
First of all you stop the ball with the sole of your foot and flick it up with your toes just above knee height. Then use your heal to flick the ball over the head of the defender and sprint into space with the ball.

So how do football freestylers make money? There are many ways.

The easiest way is by performing tricks on the street. All you need is a ball and an audience to impress. You can make up to £300 a day just by playing around with a ball, like a busker.

Really good freestylers also sell ‘how to football freestyle’ books, e-books and videos or have a website/YouTube channel and sell advertising.

Some freestylers also get sponsorship from sportswear companies, like Adidas and Nike. The F2 Freestylers have started selling their own football freestyle sportswear called Rascal Clothing.

In the early 2000s Nike began a freestyle advertising campaign called Joga Bonito (Portuguese for ‘Play Beautiful’), including videos of freestyle performances. In my opinion, Joga Bonito was one of the best advertising campaigns ever created by Nike.

Nike used some of the biggest footballers such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Not long after the Joga Bonito campaign Nike released a freestyle football competition on the Internet, ‘Nike Football’, in which people could submit their own freestyling clips and receive feedback from a worldwide audience.

There have been many other competitions such as the Red Bull Street Style, F3 World Tour, Superball – World open Championships.

Some famous freestylers include F2 Freestylers, Andrew Henderson and Lisa Zimouche.

I have been inspired by The F2 Freestylers because they always strive for perfection. They are known as the world’s best football duo. They are William ‘Billy’ Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch. Billy performed at the World Cup in 2010. Jeremy got to the final of Britain’s Got Talent in 2008.

Check out one of the F2 Freestylers’ videos.

Andrew Henderson is 24 and is the most successful football freestyler in the world when it comes to competitions. He has won the Red Bull Street Style. He has also been the UK’s champion from 2009 to 2015.

Check out one of Andrew’s videos.

Lisa Zimouche is 17 years old. She is a football player and Instagram superstar known for her freestyle football videos. She started competing in 2012 when she was part of the Red Bull Street Style.

Check out one of Lisa’s videos.

Ilias El Ghzaoui
Ilias is a year 10 student at Westminster Academy. He is interested in business and media.

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2 Responses to Freestyle football: the tricks of the trade

  1. Adil February 16, 2017 at 11:49 am #

    found this article interesting,This is because of some of the facts that i have learnt from reading the article.It was interesting to find out the first ever football freestyler, to get a professional contract was Billy Wingrove who signed for Spurs. This is something completely new to me, considering that i have been a fan of Billy Winggrove work for such a long time.

  2. Sam March 15, 2017 at 10:27 am #

    This article caught my interest in particular because it is about football, and as a fan of football it was interesting to learn more about freestyle football. I had never known that Billy Wingrove had signed a professional contract for Spurs, as i had only ever seen him on Youtube.

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