What is a sport in which athletes compete to perform various tricks using a football called?
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.
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.
The first major competition for freestyle football was Red Bull Street Style (RBSS) in 2008, which was hosted in São Paulo, Brazil. Séan Garnier won this competition with a style that had not been seen in the public eye before.