One of the most talked about aspects of Festival 16 has been the freestyle footballers in attendance, who have dazzled crowds with their remarkable skills and run workshops with the young participants. The freestylers have arrived at Festival 16 via the Freestyle Football Federation, the world governing body of the sport.

 

We caught up with three stars of the show to talk football, freestyle and Festival 16. But first, a quick look at some of their skills:

 

 

 

 

Daniel Mikołajek, Poland

 

How did you get into freestyling?

I saw some videos on YouTube that were really impressive, so I took my ball and just started freestyling. My favourite trick is the Jordan Stall.

 

 

Vašek Klouda, Czech Republic

 

What interested you in Festival 16 and what have your impressions have been so far?

For me, it is almost always about meeting new people, but most of all it is to share my experience with people so I will enjoy teaching people. At this festival there are many of talented children and maybe some adults but I can see that they already know some skills and they are hungry to learn more, which is very beautiful.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring young freestyle footballers like yourself if they are interested in getting involved?

It would make me very happy, and I would tell them directly to continue. But I would advise them do it in a group, with at least 2 or 3 people. It is better to have 5 friends when they start and maybe two of them will leave and three of them will stay and continue growing this sport. It is very important to not do it alone, but to meet and do it in groups.

 

 

Javi Sanz Aguilar, Spain

 

How do you perceive what you do? Do you see it as more of a sport or more of an art form?

I think freestyle is more than a sport, I think it is closer to dance disciplines like breakdance or other freestyle disciplines than football because it is all based on movement and you need to be very creative – football is not very creative. I think that’s why its more than a sport. We call it “spart”, which is a mix between sport and art.

 

What does football mean to you?

Football is everything to me, when I was very young I started playing in the street and I got all the good feelings and experiences from football. The main thing in football is that all you need is a ball – if you are on your own, you can take a ball, go to the street to play on your own or if you have a team or some friends you can play with them and have fun. I think that’s what football is for me and for a lot of people also.  

 

 

For more on the Freestyle Football Federation be sure to check out their website and follow them on Twitter/Instagram.