Freestyle football is the latest phenomenon sweeping soccer (football if you're in Europe!). It’s not a wonder kid from the back streets of Rio or Rochdale, but there's no doubt that if it had been, he would have picked up many of the latest freestyling tricks on his way to stardom. A lot of folks try to learn freestyle football as a hobby, and many are successful in doing that.
For as long as the game was played, soccer players have sought to command supreme mastery of the ball. Many terrific players hone their skills by practicing independently with a football, spending hour upon hour perfecting a particular trick, making what seem to be nearly impossible feats appear easy. Recently 'freestyle' soccer has developed competitions to get the absolute best freestylers in the soccer world.
A common definition of the term 'Freestyle' is 'a contest where the contestant is given more latitude than in related events.' In soccer, freestyling means that anything goes! Imagination and originality characterize routines with supreme emphasis put on showmanship. Being able to do 20 'keeper-puppies' is no more a guarantee to stardom, the best freestylers demonstrate awesome ball control, agility, and athleticism.
Much of the popularity of the sport can be attributed to the rise of readily accessible new media and the web. Look at any video sharing site and search 'soccer' and you will see countless videos of players demonstrating their mastery of the sport. Common tricks have their names (take a look at the chicken wing, the chopstick or the chunky!) And many players have their signature moves. Competitions are held all over the world, and there is an increasing number of specialist freestylers.
The sport has gained significant exposure through the involvement of soccer heroes such as Ronaldinho and David Beckham. Turn on any TV, and you're likely to see them displaying their freestyle skills in high profile ads for sports equipment manufacturers such as Nike or Adidas as scoring for FC Barcelona or LA Galaxy! Nike's fabulously successful and highly effective 'Joga Bonito' campaign featured many soccer icons displaying their freestyle skills including Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabio Cannavaro ('Joga Bonito' aptly means 'play amazing' in Portuguese!).
So what do you need to start freestyling? Nothing more than a pair of soccer shoes football and a great deal of time to practice. You don't even need much space, a little backyard is nice, though many freestylers prefer to train indoors in the gym. There are already quite a few freestyle soccer coaching videos and DVD's and numerous resources online where you can pick up all the newest tips and techniques. Most players start with learning basic ball juggling methods and progress from there to more complex moves.