Viva Con Agua Allstars vs. Global United FC

Following on from that previous charity match I was involved in, the time had come once again to get out the football boots to feature for the Viva Con Agua All-Stars once again, this time in another charity game against Global United FC.

 The Viva Con Agua All-Stars with our squad photo

The Viva Con Agua All-Stars with our squad photo

This time we got the pleasure of gracing the pitch of the stadium for TSG Hoffenheim; The Rhein-Neckar-Arena. Our team were also looking sharp in sporting the Hoffenheim kit.

 Myself kitted out and ready to go. Squad No. 31.

Myself kitted out and ready to go. Squad No. 31.

Once again all proceeds were going towards a good cause. There are sadly still many parts of Africa that don't have access to or enough clean drinking water, so it's great to get involved with events like this which I'm sure will help to make a difference in building sanitary facilities.

 Kevin Kuranyi was a constant threat going forward, he's still got it!

Kevin Kuranyi was a constant threat going forward, he's still got it!

Global United FC are also a non-profit organisation established in Germany, their concerns are with climate change and raising awareness for the environmental care for the planet. Using football as an outlet, they have over 500 registered players, coaches, referees and other public figures involved in charity matches, projects, volunteering and other ways to spread the message about climate change and what action can be done.

 Kuranyi celebrates after another goal for the All-Stars.

Kuranyi celebrates after another goal for the All-Stars.

This game once again featured some relatively big names to help really make an event out of it. This included the likes of former German footballers Kevin Kuranyi, Fredi Bobic and Cacau.

 Viva Con Agua All-Stars weren't shying away from putting in the sliding tackles in this match.

Viva Con Agua All-Stars weren't shying away from putting in the sliding tackles in this match.

There were also some music stars like rappers Hanybal, Mauli, Marvin Game and many more amazing guests. All of whom were really cool people and it was a pleasure to get to rub shoulders on the pitch with them.

I cannot express enough gratification for being involved with the Viva Con Agua All-Stars again, this was a crazy match that ended 6-6! Everyone had a great time playing and and I hope the folks that turned out to support us enjoyed it too!

 Hanybal is definitely a striker everyone should have on their team.

Hanybal is definitely a striker everyone should have on their team.

Viva Con Agua Allstars vs. TUS Haltern

This year I had the pleasure of being part of an amazing charity match which featured a few celebrities as well.

Of course it was all for a good cause so I felt even better to be a part of it. The game was in aid of the charity "Viva Con Agua" which is a non-profit organisation founded in Germany back in 2005 who's aim is to improve the drinking water supply in developing countries. Rather fittingly, their motto is simply "Water for everybody".

All the proceeds from this event were to be donated to helping Ethiopia, a country in Africa where not everyone sadly has access to fresh, clean drinking water.

 Going over the team tactics before the big game

Going over the team tactics before the big game

 My team for the day!

My team for the day!

Although I hadn't played football properly in a while, I can't lie that I got a big buzz out of this and I don't think my performance as a left sided defender was too bad either! I was playing for the Viva Con Agua Allstars against TUS Haltern.

The event managed to feature some really cool people lining up for the two teams. This included former German nation player Marcell Jansen and former Real Madrid defender Christoph Metzelder.

But it wasn't just footballer related people either who took part. There were also the music stars from German indie rock band Sportfreunde Stiller, duo Chefboss and popular music group Milky Chance.

The game itself was awesome and eventually we won 7-6 in a frantic affair. I hope that the spectators that came out to support us and the event overall enjoyed it too!

I had a blast overall and would jump at the chance to feature in more charity games like this in future, or maybe using my freestyle skills at other events that are for good worthwhile causes.

A big special mention to photographer Max Hartmann as well for these amazing pictures!

 An amazing effort from everyone on the day and the squad photo to match!

An amazing effort from everyone on the day and the squad photo to match!

DFB-Pokalfinale Berlin 2017

Following on from last years event, I got invited back to show off some freestyle skills at the Interconti Hotel in Berlin, in the heart of the capital, the night before the DFB-Pokalfinale game between Borrusia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Alongside fellow freestyler Tommy, we got the chance to impress a few big names such as Dortmund director Hans Joachim Watzke, former Germany international player Lothar Matthäus and the current manager of the German national team Joachim Löw who was more than happy to get a photo with us.

The German domestic cup final is always a big event on the calendar, I think a lot of people were pleasantly surprised that this year Bayern Munich weren't going to be involved in the final that would take place next day at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

soooo grateful 💯💯💯🙏🙏

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On the actual day of the DFB-Pokalfinale in the Olympiastadion I performed at the VIP Area before the big match and after my shows were finished I had some complimentary tickets to watch the game afterwards which Dortmund eventually won 2-1. The atmosphere was great and I'm super grateful to be involved with this event for the second year running!

Video - THIS IS ME - Philippe Gnannt

Now of course, freestyle football is all about self-expression. It really is just 'sky's the limit' and if you take a quick look on social media nowadays you'll see kids trying to do tricks with a football EVERYWHERE.

So sometimes it can be hard to standout but that doesn't mean it's not something worth trying to do. I decided to venture on a new project with the help of my friend Lasse who helped shoot this video. Like I touched on earlier, I really wanted my views and partly my personality to come across in this piece. We spent a lot of time not just on the shooting phase but the editing too in order to ensure the end product was flawless. What can I say I am a bit of a perfectionist? Haha.

The video not only includes some awesome freestyling from myself, but different to what I normally see or the kind of videos I usually make, I try to give my own perspective about freestyle and my goals for the future so I guess you could say this video is a lot more deep and personal to me.

Obviously there is only so much I can say about it so I think it'd be much better if you kick back and watch it yourself! (Video below) And I'd love to hear any feedback about it whatsoever as well!

Judging the Karstadt Sports Final in Berlin

So a while back I helped with the photo/video promotion (which you can read about here) for the upcoming Karstadt Sports freestyle football competition. The time had come to host the grand final that would take place at the iconic Adidas Base in Berlin.

For me however, I had a very different role for this competition. I can confidently say it was an honour to be on the judging panel alongside Marcel Gurk, a former German national freestyle champion as well as Kai Alexander who is a top street football player.

 The judging panel for the final  (from left to right: Kai Alexander, Philippe Gnannt, Marcel Gurk)

The judging panel for the final (from left to right: Kai Alexander, Philippe Gnannt, Marcel Gurk)

There had previously been qualifiers around Germany that would then see the best freestylers in the country all gathered under one roof for an epic final. The turnout was really good in terms of both numbers and the level was strong too. It featured the likes of freestylers Jannis Gasser, Kevin Buchert, Ricardo Rehländer, Kevin Kück, Corvin Berndt and many more.

 Some of the players during the warm up

Some of the players during the warm up

 Corvin Berndt showing off some of his uppers

Corvin Berndt showing off some of his uppers

It was something that I had always fancied having a go at in judging a freestyle football competition. Don't get me wrong I think I prefer the buzz of competing and pushing myself to do my best but judging nonetheless is an interesting and worthwhile experience in itself too.

 Sharing a joke with fellow judge Marcel

Sharing a joke with fellow judge Marcel

 Kevin Buchert on fire with his lowers

Kevin Buchert on fire with his lowers

In the end, the overall winner was none other than Kevin Buchert who beat Van Ael in the final. Kevin is also one of my closest friends here in Berlin and it was thoroughly deserved so I'm super happy for him. Jannis Gasser took the bronze in 3rd place also.

 Jannis Gasser managed to take home 3rd place after some impressive performances

Jannis Gasser managed to take home 3rd place after some impressive performances

 The onlooking freestylers were appreciative of the battles going on

The onlooking freestylers were appreciative of the battles going on

The atmosphere inside the Base was really good for this event as well. You could tell they went to a lot of effort for making this final as good as it could possibly be. In my opinion the venue was perfect for this and captured everything really well and to have it in the city of Berlin, for me, made it even better.

The day after the tournament we all decided to meet up and freestyle together and it happened to be the biggest freestyle meeting in Germany for the last however many years, maybe the biggest one ever here in fact! 

 The squad!

The squad!

It was such a good day out in glorious sunshine and was nothing but good vibes and good fun. I really like that we got to do this and it just reiterates the fact that freestyle football is generally a really positive and friendly sport and environment to be a part in. It's not just like a really serious competition where people turn up and compete against each other without any interaction and then go home.

That meetup the next day was probably stands out as one of my favourite days of the year and I hope we can do it again in the not too distant future!

 Myself alongside the competition winner and good friend Kevin Buchert

Myself alongside the competition winner and good friend Kevin Buchert

A massive thanks as well to photographer Viktor Schanz for all these awesome photos from what was a truly great event for the German freestyle scene.

Video Shooting Karstadt Sports | Adidas

Recently I had the pleasure in being one of the main focal points in the production for a video trailer for a national freestyle football competition that will take place here in Germany, featuring the country's top freestylers!

You can watch end product of the trailer below:

The other freestyler in the trailer was Mehmetcan Örücü who was great on the day and good fun to work with on this project. The location for filming was the iconic "The Base Berlin" which has hosted a lot of cool competitions and events usually involving Adidas and football.

all of the lights // 📸 @viktorschanz

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Germany in my opinion has an adequate amount of freestylers, but hopefully this tournament will inspire some new onlookers to get into the sport with the talent that will be on show here.

The competition is sponsored by Adidas and Karstadt Sports so I can just tell the event is going to be insane in terms of the set up and visuals. The grand final will be held on 25th March (which will comprise of the 1st and 2nd places from the qualifiers which will take place in the big cities of Germany like Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, etc.) and I am going to be one of the judges for the final which I'm super excited about!

details // 📸 @viktorschanz

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To be a part of the filming and production itself was absolutely amazing. Probably one of the most professional video shoots I have been a part of. The whole thing took place over the course of about 10 hours and had a lot of professional people involved to overlook every last detail such as those who were hired just for lighting or scenery for example.

The moving visuals were brought to you by 'I Like Visuals' from Berlin and they did an outstanding job. The pictures were done by Viktor Schanz who is an unbelievable photographer.

As I said, this competition is going to be awesome and I'm very much looking forward to watching it unfold in the coming weeks. The pictures you see here can't really do it justice for how great it was to have such an integral role in this project and I'd like to once again thank everyone who played a part in making it happen.

Thanks for reading,

Peace!

Some Different Videos I Released

So in this one I just wanted to bring some attention to 3 videos I made recently in 2016. All very unique and all featuring one of the biggest things in my life; Freestyle Football.

1.      "Fussballspieler"

For this video I took the song "Opernsänger" by Yung Hurn. It's a very random song in which he's rapping about David Alaba (The Bayern Munich Left Back) and how he is going to become a football-player if his girlfriend wants him to do so because he loves her so much. It's pretty funny in German trust me. :-)

With my good friend Anshu we went to a street court nearby Warschauer Straße in Berlin to film this. With this video it was pretty chilled and we managed to get it all shot in a day. The clips I mainly wanted to be ones that would look good in slow motion, and I also met two kids there while filming who wanted to be in it so we did the "Dab" together haha.

   2.     "Summertime Vibe$$$"

For this video I actually got inspired by recently watching lots of skateboard videos and I just wanted to do something else a little different again to the majority of most freestyle videos these days. This is just about conveying having fun. There are no serious combos, just enjoying life and having a good care free session with my friend Anshu. Don't get me wrong there is still some tough stuff in here! But I wanted to shoot it in a much more natural way than a lot of freestyle videos that still shows all the positive vibes with no heavy editing. 

I decided to take a funny song which captures the mood perfectly and makes people smile, cos at the end of the day, we should all smile a lot more haha. Thanks again to Anshu's friend Pierre for filming this one!

     3.     "Noisy"

In this video I also wanted to do something completely different from what we freestylers are used to seeing. I guess you could say this one is a lot more 'edgy' and 'artsy' but I'm really happy with the end product which took me a few days to edit because of all the details such as editing to the music, applying film grain/film burns etc.

This was filmed on a cold day in Berlin Friedrichshain & Kreuzberg by Anshu once again. This out of the 3 videos is probably my most favourite because of how different it is. I remember staying up late spending a lot of time paying attention to detail on it and I'm happy with the freestyle content in there as well as the other quirky additions like including photographic stills, I think this looks sick!

So if you watch any of the videos I'd love to know your thoughts on them, good or bad, and don't forget to subscribe for future vids on my YouTube-Channel as well.

Thanks for reading once again,

Peace!

UK & Ireland Champs + Superball 2016

Hey guys! These were two really awesome trips for me, although I didn't compete in either competition I just want to spread some praise for two highlights of my 2016 in which I had a lot of fun and it was so good to see everyone again. Hopefully this article does our sport (freestyle- football) justice in terms of seeing how many new freestylers there are out there and how the competitions are getting bigger and better!

UK & Ireland Champs

Firstly, I went to the UK & Ireland Freestyle Football Championships in July, this year they took place in the cultural capital of Scotland; Edinburgh.

Even though the weather may not have been the best there was still an amazing turnout and the competition made for a great spectacle which Andrew Henderson went onto win... for the 7th year in a row! The guy is absolutely incredible and it's clear to see why he is such an icon in this sport. Congratulations to him as well as to my good friend Daniel Dennehy for coming 2nd and Jamie Knight for coming 3rd.

Overall I was really impressed with the level of the freestyle scene here. Even though there were some big names missing there was still some great stuff on show and it was clear to see that everyone had been training hard for this. In addition to this it was great to see a lot of new faces like the younger generation that are coming through, they got a lot of passion for this and I'm sure many of them that I saw on this day will go far if they keep up the god work.

After the competition was done we also went for a bit of a night out and that was great fun and I really liked Edinburgh, a great energy about the place and some funny people. So good to catch up with everyone again though, like I have said in previous posts these are great friends and it's so awesome we are initially connected by just kicking a ball about essentially haha, but because of distance and stuff we don't know when we are next likely to see each other, so events like this one are extra special to me.

young ballerzzz 💷💷💷

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SUPERBALL 2016

This is arguably one of, if not the biggest events on the freestyle football calendar. The World Open Freestyle Football Championship aka 'SUPERBALL' this year lived up to all the hype and was yet another huge success I feel.

A competition that literally brings freestylers from all corners of the globe to one location is always a recipe for something special. The competition this year took place in the small city of Liberec, Czech Republic, with the final being held out in the city's main square packed out with mostly freestylers and the locals to watch some of the most incredible freestyle battles in history. Erland (Norway) eventually was crowned champion after defeating Tobias Becs (Norway) in an amazing final that certainly did not disappoint for the viewers.

So I visited again as a spectator with probably my best friend in football-freestyle Kevin Buchert from Germany who drove us down there. It was so good to see everyone and we still had the opportunity to train with them in the legendary sports hall of the Liberec Arena too.

Here are some pictures:

As always, Superball was a very enjoyable event to be a part of even if it was just spectating on this occasion and I'm going to do everything I can to attend the forthcoming one in 2017 in Prague which is going to be huge!

 

Thanks for reading,

Peace!

Karstadt Sports Rooftop Event

One of my favourite events that I mentioned in a previous blog post was the time I performed for Karstadt Sports at their rooftop event in Berlin, well lucky me I was back doing the same thing again, this time in the wonderful city of Hamburg!

The tournament itself was a straight forward format where kids would play each other 2 v 2 in a small cage. The ball is always in play and therefore you have to be constantly alert, think quick and have fast feet in such a small enclosed space!

keepin' it realzzz 💯💯💯💯 // #fslife #freestylefootball

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In the video clip above you can watch me doing a freestyle combo in front of the cage in which the kids played in. I was pretty happy to pull of this combination! :)

Once again, the event was all Adidas, I was repping some of their latest gear as were the kids taking part in the tournament, the winner also got a load of free Adidas gear which looked awesome.

I thought it was pretty cool how this event had the professional DJ " Shorty Banks " for the day as well as a professional photographer, you can see some of his shots of me down below and his site for more of his work at: PhillipBischoff.Com

For me it was another case of not only showcasing my freestyle skills but also giving workshops to the kids and being able to teach them a thing or two as well. I even managed to join in and play a couple games myself, that was great fun and a refreshing change from purely just performing my freestyle at events.

💯💯💯💯💯 // 📷 by @philo_ol

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Love this photo of me during one of my shows. Everyone was having a great time, especially me!

holla at me on 👻 - philippegnannt 📷 by @philo_ol

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Still nice to be asked for photos and my social media by kids, it lets me know that they rate what I do! :)

Once again the event was a huge success and I want to thank the team and everyone for having me for another rooftop event (which by the way makes for he coolest venue ever!). another massive thank as well for the professional pics by Hamburg's finest, Phillip Bischoff, a small gallery of my favourite shots from the day you can see below:

Thanks for reading,

Peace!

BEKO 2016

This year I was fortunate enough to do some work performing for BEKO who are also the official sponsors of F.C Barcelona.

I spent a whole week at IFA 2016 in Berlin which happens to be one of the biggest trade fairs in Europe.

I was not alone either, joining me was a fantastic team in the form of freestylers Kitti Szasz (Hungary) and my fellow compatriot Max Meyer (Germany).

This event was for the agency 'World Class Freestyle' which was set up by my good friend Daniel Dennehy (pictured below with us freestylers) who came to watch over things and Dara Coyne (another good friend of mine also from Ireland) was on hand to assist with proceedings too.

We also had the pleasure/honor meeting up with the former FC Barcelona player Éric Abidal. A true legend in the world of football.

It was a real pleasure putting on shows for the people here at this trade show, and to represent World Class Freestyle too as they have some of the best freestylers in the world on their books, the highest calibre.

It was cool to be able to have a few freestylers to chill with in Berlin, for many this was actually their first time here so I kind of felt like their tour guide at times haha.

it's going doooown in the dm 💯💯💯

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Berlin vibe$$$$ on fleek ☀️☀️🙌🙏 @danieldennehy

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It's always good linking up with folks who are such positive and like-minded individuals. It was an honour to show them around my city.

This one above is probably my favourite photo of the 5 of us from the last day. I think we made a great team to be honest!

Overall this was an invaluable week for me, I had a lot of fun and it was nothing but good times, I can't wait to see these guys again, hopefully soon!

Thanks for reading once again,

Peace!

Teco-7 Freestyle Competition

So for me this was one of my highlights of 2016; The competition, the people, the trip, everything was just awesome!

I was one of the few individuals who was invited by Martin Schopf (National Freestyle-Football champion of Austria) to take part in an exclusive freestyle competition in Vienna which took place on the 1st of July.

The level of this competition was high given the select few people who were also invited, alongside myself there was Szymo (Poland), Tom Folan (UK), Bambi (Italy), Martin Schopf (Austria), Yorok (Egypt), Kari (Czech Republic) & Roman (Slovakia). I seriously recommend you to check all these guys out as well as they are all incredible at what they do!

In addition to this, the judging panel consisted of Miran Pirner (Croatia), Rocco (Hungary) and Federico (Italy). So for this competition there was a really good blend of all sorts of different nationalities and it's great to see everyone come together all because of this mutual passion for our sport of Freestyle-Football. Below is a photo of us all from the day of the competition:

Before the competition, Vit (who is also a freestyler) filmed and produced a 30 second trailer for each competitor for the day. I was really happy with how mine turned out, here is a snapshot from it:

So before the competition itself we had a few days to chill and do some sightseeing in the wonderful city of Vienna. We also had some great freestyle sessions together too, and this photo of us posing on top of the goal is easily one of my favourite pics of the year haha

Vienna vibe$$$ to the fullest!! 💯💯 Had a fantastic time with the homies - what a day!! 🙏

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Furthermore, Federico and me couldn't resist doing the running man challenge. Always having too much fun meeting the lads!

done had to done do it again @fedfastfoot 💯💯💯🙌🙌 #fslife #runningmanchallenge

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The competition was such an enjoyable day altogether and executed with a high level of professionalism so shoutout to Martin Schopf and all those involved in the organising because I feel they did an amazing job. It felt so strange but awesome to myself on the big screen before the battles!

The competition was eventually won by Szymo who beat the home favourite Martin Schopf in the final. For myself I unfortunately didn't make it very far as I was eliminated by Tom Folan in the first round. But I am not too down about that as for me the most important thing was the experience of it all overall and you can't put a price on that! But of course I have to step up my game for the next competitions!

The competition was a complete success and it managed to generate a bit of an audience who helped to create a good atmosphere too, especially the kids, you could tell they were loving what they were seeing.

This one below is my favourite picture of me in action halfway through a big combo! And all these pictures from the event itself are taken by Sebastian Wahlhuetter who does an amazing job at capturing all elements of the competition in great detail.

This is the last photo of the whole squad together, it was an amazing trip and so good to see everyone once again! Like I said, this was one of my highlights of the year and is probably the epitome of '#FsLife'

Thanks again for reading guys,

Philippe

Coca-Cola Junior League 2016

Summer time is one of the busiest times for a football freestyler like myself, I attribute this mainly to the good weather and therefore there are a lot more outdoor events and activities going on to get involved in; kids' football tournaments being a prime example!

In June I did some shows and workshops for the Coca-Cola Junior League in Bern (Switzerland) alongside female freestyler Adriana Orlovic as part of a 2 day event. 

This soccer league in Switzerland consists of the best Youth Teams. On a special court beside the pitches myself and Adriana ensured to keep the crowd entertained with some freestyle shows as well as carrying out some workshops to the kids so they could learn some new tricks too. Even though most are more concerned with football, it's really cool to see how big freestyle football is getting as a lot of these kids know the names of the tricks and some were real fast learners too!

keepin' it 💯

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Living this lifestyle travelling around with my football doing what I love wouldn't be complete without being able to see some of the places in full that I get to visit. A bit of sightseeing in Bern was the icing on the cake for me!

Bern what's guuud?!?! 💯💯😜

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Another feature of 'The Freestyle Life' while we are on the topic is meeting up with many of the other freestylers across the globe and I always enjoy meeting new freestylers. I had the privilege of meeting up with Samba Rakoto who came all the way to Zurich airport just to be able to have a short freestyle session with me which was awesome!

I had a fantastic time in Switzerland and can't wait to go back there, thanks again for reading,

Peace!

 

Shows Adidas & Deutsche Soccer Liga - May & June 2016

As we began to move into summer I had a few more cool shows through May and June. A couple of which I will talk about now:

As I have said before in previous blog posts it is always a pleasure doing events for Adidas, I had the opportunity to do a couple more days of shows and promotion at the 'performance stores' that were based in Berlin and Hamburg.

Below you can see me kitted out in some of the latest Adidas gear (becoming a recurring thing now haha) situated outside one of the stores striking a typical pose halfway through one of my shows in which I was trying to draw some attention from the crowds of people on the street.

I also did a bit of freestyle in the stores themselves, moving around and as a kind of 'walking act' and interacting with some of the people in there.

And following on from this a few weeks later there was also the event I did for "Deutsche Soccer Liga" in Erfurt. This had quite a big turnout of people for this event, there were a lot of new cars on display, some musical acts and all sorts of other things. The people themselves were super receptive of my skills as well which helps a freestyler a lot I feel!

I did one main performance in the centre of this place, that went really well but also there were a lot of enthusiastic kids there as well who actually really were getting the hang of some of the tricks I was teaching them so well done to them! Like I always say, it is just essentially hard work and practice (lots of practice!).

The teaching part is good because it feels nice to be able to give something back to people which is certainly important for me I feel. I can see it makes them happy as well when they actually achieve something they at first think is too hard or not possible for them.

So it's been a good start to the summer and I hope to keep it busy like this continuing to do the thing I love!

 

Thanks again for reading,

Peace!

Vodafone | Huawei - May 2016

 

In May one of my favourite events I performed at was an event for Vodafone alongside female freestyler Adriana Orlovic.

This event once again took place in my beloved city of Berlin, the venue was actually the Stadion An der Alten Försterei which is the football stadium of German team 1. FC Union of Berlin. The main sponsors for this event were Huawei, a huge telecommunications company.

We did some performances on the stage in the actual stadium that went really well and in addition to this we were also what I call 'a walking act' where we were situated outside the ground where the majority of the Vodafone stands were for the event, people would stop and watch us for a while and we could interact with the people in between our freestyle too which is always nice. But we did get to move around to different spots and weren't just stuck in the same place all day.

One thing that I must say though is how hot it was on this day! Unbelievably high temperatures in Berlin on this day, but nonetheless we still put in a good shift and worked hard. Definitely not something I am one to complain about as I much prefer this kind of weather than the rain!

Once again a really fun day that was well received by the people watching. Me and Adriana were just kind of left to get on with our thing and it was an enjoyable time doing the thing that I love doing the most out in the sun.

Thanks again for reading,

Peace!

DFB Pokalfinale pre event - May 2016

One of the biggest sporting events on the German calendar is undoubtedly the DFB Pokalfinale (The German Football Cup) which happens each year in May.

This year I had the opportunity to be a part of the pre-match hype as I performed at an event together with female freestyler Nina Windmüller the day before the DFB Pokalfinale which this year was between the two titans of German football - Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund!

The venue was Berlin's Interconti Hotel  which is close to the heart of the city, and the match itself would be held here next day in the Olympic Stadium too so there was quite a buzz around the place already.

For me and Nina, we were entertaining some of the guests of the hotel at this event in one of the main areas, it was non-stop freestyle pretty much as well as interacting with some of the people. It was good to hear everyone's (some a little more biased than others) predictions about the forthcoming big match. Everyone really liked the freestyle and was in good sprits regardless of which football team they supported. As you'll see below I was wearing the yellow half on this occasion kitted out in 100% Borussia Dortmund!

I need that new contract asap @bvb09 😜😜 #fslife #freestylefootball

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So above is me doing my thing and demonstrating a typical 'lowers' combo. Lowers are one of my favourite aspects of freestyle, I train them often so it is nice to be able to then bring them to events such as this to try and amaze people.

And of course I couldn't not get a photo with what the guys would be playing for tomorrow; the trophy itself! It's only when you get this close to the trophy that you are able to see just how shiny it is as well as the impeccable craftsmanship on it. Fortunately I managed to get through the day without knocking it over with a football haha.

There were also some pretty big names in attendance at this event including Otto Rehhagel who is undoubtedly one of the best German football managers ever and was in charge of Greece when they pulled off their against-all-odds victory over Portugal in the Euro 2008 tournament. CEO of Dortmund Hans-Joachim Watzke attended as well as the CEO of Bayern Munich AG (a daughter company of Bayern Munich), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who also used to play for Munich as a winger, who in particular I have to say enjoyed our tricks a lot and stayed to watch me and Nina for a while before lavishing us with praise!

Overall this was a really enjoyable event to be a part of and had made me excited for the German cup final even more after seeing how infectious the anticipation was from everyone else at the event. Whether they be a Bayern Munich supporter, a Borussia Dortmund fan or whatever, football is something that almost everyone can have an opinion on and it really does feel like football brings people together and it was a pleasure to be a part of that through freestyle.

Thanks again for reading,

Philippe

More Shows February - April 2016

Fortunately for myself, I was once again able to freestyle at a wide variety of really cool events for this time period.

Furthermore, I also did some shows as part of the opening event of Intersport Olympia. One thing I really like about these type of events is that if it is an opening event, it tends to have a great atmosphere to it full of hype and excitement, this one certainly followed this trend!

Here you can see some of the onlookers from a crowd as I started doing some combos. This event was for the opening of one of their Berlin stores and lasted across 2 days, so the shopping centre was full of people just passing through. I can't imagine what it must have been like for some people just walking through casually doing some shopping and then seeing some random guy doing crazy football tricks haha.

April in particular was a busy month and started with one of my favourite freestyle events from the year so far in performing with my good friend Kevin Buchert at a 'Panna' event in "Adidas - The Base" in Berlin.

Adidas - The Base - Panna Event

Of course it is always great to freestyle with Kevin, he's one of my best friends so when we get the opportunity to freestyle together at the same event we both know we are going to put everything into it and leave the event super happy. Together, we put on some great shows of our freestyle football skills in the panna arena and the crowd really liked this in between the main panna event itself.

Adidas - The Base - Panna Event

For anyone who doesn't know what 'Panna' is, it is essentially where you have to try and 'nutmeg' or put the ball through an opponents legs, but there are goals to defend as well. It is really fun but you have to be very quick and sneaky and try to avoid getting caught out and humiliated!

I also entered the tournament too just for a bit of fun and managed to get to the semi-finals which was a very nice surprise especially as I don't really play football or panna and just focus on freestyle. Managed to get the cool photo from above with some other guys at the event, everyone there was having a good time you could tell and the vibes were all good, amazing day and event it has to be said!

Then later in April, possibly an even better venue than The Base was doing some freestyle shows for Air Liquide in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin!

 Kitted out in the Germany National Team kit right next to the iconic blue running track.

Kitted out in the Germany National Team kit right next to the iconic blue running track.

In total I did 3 shows at this event, all were conducted in the VIP area of the stadium as that was the main area for the event. This event was all for the employees at Air Liquide (The world leader in gasses, technologies and services for health and industry).

Air Liquide - Olympic Stadium Berlin

While this event was pretty short and sweet I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think my audience did too. The Olympic Stadium sure was an incredible venue to showcase my skills so it is no wonder I am smiling in all the photos from the event!

Finally to conclude with April I also teamed up with female freestyler Nina Windmuller doing a show together for the charity organization "Streetfootballworld".

This event was also in Berlin but I was not paid the fee I usually charge what I believe to be a very worthy cause. I think it is very important to be able to give something back to people so on this occasion that was through me and Nina's freestyle football skills at the event.

Streetfootballworld

While this was once again a pretty short and sweet event for me, I cannot stress what a rewarding feeling it is to see some people's reactions from our skills, even when you aren't being paid much for it. Streetfootballworld are an incredible charity organization that seek to create social change for the greater good through the power of football, I urge you to check out their website here.

It was awesome to be a part of their event that day and I wish them all the best of luck with their future work and ambitions. A very fulfilling way to round off this busy time of the year for me as we head into spring!

Thanks again for reading,

Peace!

 

Video Shooting with Heino - April 2016

During April, one of my most amusing events was being a body double for the famous singer/songwriter Heino.

Heino is very well known across Germany and I have to say he is also a really nice guy as well. So what happened was we shot a video together where I was his body double for his new song 'Arschkarte'. I was doing all the freestyle football tricks so of course those are my legs not his that you see!

So above is a picture of the two of us together dressed the same. Looking back on it I find this pretty funny, notice how we've even got him wearing shoes which are quite good for freestyle too!

Below is the end product of the video which you can watch and will probably do a much better job of explaining things than me. It was actually a lot of fun and didn't take too many attempts to get the right shots that the director wanted at all.

Maybe one day our paths will cross again but if not I wish him all the best with his ongoing music career!

Thanks for reading,

Peace!

Sorø Meeting 2016 - Special - March 2016

So this year I returned to one of the biggest events on the freestyle football calendar, the Sorø Meeting!

Sorø is a tiny place in Denmark but once a year freestylers from all over of the globe travel to attend this huge meeting of lots of freestylers under the same roof. It's a time for just constant training, chilling and just generally having good times with the people we do not get the chance to see that often.

I went there with one of my best friends Kevin Buchert who is also a freestyler from Berlin, I also managed to vlog a lot of each day so I could capture the essence of the Sorø meet in all it's glory. Below you can also find each vlog (there are 4 in total from the trip) with some of the highlights from each of my days there.

So when I finally arrived there I had a blast of nostalgia as I had not been to this place in a good 4 years or so, everything looked very familiar though. It was so good to see everyone again. So in this legendary sports hall not only is it the place that we train but we also stay here as well in some of the small rooms connected to the main training space.

I had my first proper training session of the trip on the arrival day, although I was not really satisfied with my freestyle on this day I was just very happy to be surrounded by all my homies and like minded people. On this day I spent a lot of time freestyling and talking to Kevin (Germany), Jaime (Spain), who is a definite contender for having the coolest tattoo ever! (check out the vlog) and also Tonic (Netherlands) who gives some good tips in the vlog for doing PATW (also known as the Triple Around The World).

 

On the second day me and Kevin got up super early while everyone was still asleep to go outside and play some football on their full size outdoor pitches. It was very cold but a fun and refreshing way to start the day!

I had the chance to meet some of the younger freestylers or the 'next generation' as some may like to call them. Aksel from Norway and Christopher from Denmark to name a couple are really pushing their own limits at such a young age and it is very motivating to see so many people get into freestyle at a younger age.

I also spoke with Gunter (Italy) who is a household name in freestyle, winning the Italian Championships 4 times and competing in countless competitions at the most elite level. He was training for like 10 hours on the first day which is just absolutely crazy!

I was also reunited with my good friend Dara Coyne all the way from Ireland (goes to show how internationally freestyling is really bringing people together to one tiny city in Denmark). As is also mentioned in the Vlog, Dara runs a very in depth and high quality YouTube channel 'Your How To Do' which features lots of tutorials on freestyle tricks and is definitely worth checking out!

Generally there was a LOT of freestyle happening in this one, you could say it was business as usual. I myself had 3 sessions in this day and was a lot more pleased with some of the combos I was able to do.

 

After another early morning start with Kevin and after breakfast I decided to take a little dip in the ice cold lake. It was so cold that it had completely frozen over (we had to break it just to get in) and I could not stay in there long but it felt invigorating and amazing nonetheless!

More freestyle sessions took place once again, probably one of the most packed occasions of the hall for freestylers and I was happy with some of the combos I managed to land. In between freestyle sessions it is cool just to be able to talk to people too, I seemed to find myself chilling a lot with the Finnish Freestylers in the rooms away from the training hall. In addition to this it was great meeting legends like PWG and Marcus Holmberg (Sweden) too. At the end of the freestyle session it was also fun to mix things up with playing a bit of football indoors.

Even though the last day had come around already everyone was in very good spirits. There was still a lot of freestyle going on. I again found myself hanging out with the Finnish guys quite a lot again including Pege who is also one of my best friends in freestyle I would say, funny guy and also king of the trick Sagami Around The World!

It was only on day 4 that I finally got a chance to meet and speak with the organisers of the whole event; Lars Munck and Simon Atli. The duo have been organising the event for the past few years and I just want to thank them once again for doing such a great job and bringing so many freestylers to the same place from many different countries, it's incredible to be a part of it. According to Munck, there are so many freestylers attending now that they are planning to move the next one to a new location which he talks about in my vlog.

Even though Sorø is a small city in Denmark that most of you probably haven't heard of, it was great to visit it again and when away from the immediate freestyle I have to acknowledge  friendly people living in the city of Sorø. I recall on one occasion when I was in the supermarket I didn't know whether there was ham in one of the pasta dishes, and one guy literally stopped what he was doing and took it to go find someone who worked there to ask him for me, incredible!

Finally, it was also really nice to see some of Copenhagen with the Finnish guys before we had to get our respective flights home, it is a really nice place I recommend visiting if you get the chance!

Overall the trip was a wonderful experience for me and again I leave with many fond memories. It is hard to put it into words how far this sport and its community has developed and to be a part of events such as this which demonstrate the amazing levels of the freestylers as well as the friendships made with these people for me is just priceless. I hope to see everyone who was there again as soon as possible!

To conclude, I think this clip below sums up the trip for me:

Thanks again for reading,

Peace!

Karstadt Sports - March 2016

In March I had the opportunity of once again performing for Adidas, this time at Karstadt Sports. What was unique about this occasion though was I was freestyling on the rooftop of their Berlin store!

Karstadt Sports - Adidas - Solestall

Kitted out in some of the latest Adidas gear (mostly from the new 'Ace' and 'X' range), I was situated in the familiar setting of a Panna Cage putting on freestyle shows throughout the day.

Karstadt Sports - Adidas - Inspiring

In addition to this, it was really cool to interact with some of the other people there, I had the chance to teach some kids some freestyle tricks at this event and it is always nice to hear the positive comments from people about the mind-blowing skills that I try to pull off! I think it is important to give back to people and I like teaching the kids freestyle tricks mostly because of their priceless reactions; at first they think it is impossible but then once you break it down for them slowly and with a little bit of patience and practice they soon realise in themselves how doable it is and for me this is such a rewarding feeling.

 As always it was a very fun day working with Adidas and all the people involved, to be able to showcase my skills with people on the rooftop of a store with the sun shining down was a pretty awesome way to spend a day. Managed to get this one photo (above) near the end of the event with some of the kids and organisers, what a wonderful bunch of people to work with! I hope that the kids take their new-found skills as well and keep up the practice.  February-March has been a busy but great part of 2016 for me, and I hope to write about some of the upcoming events very soon as well as the other projects I have been working on.  Peace!

As always it was a very fun day working with Adidas and all the people involved, to be able to showcase my skills with people on the rooftop of a store with the sun shining down was a pretty awesome way to spend a day. Managed to get this one photo (above) near the end of the event with some of the kids and organisers, what a wonderful bunch of people to work with! I hope that the kids take their new-found skills as well and keep up the practice.

February-March has been a busy but great part of 2016 for me, and I hope to write about some of the upcoming events very soon as well as the other projects I have been working on.

Peace!

ATR Performance - January 2016

I had an amazing start to 2016 where one of the highlights certainly was having the pleasure of performing along side incredible freestylers Jacek, Szymon, Mikolaj, Nina and Adriana, for ATR in Berlin. Some pictures from the event can be seen below.

This was a gala event for ATR who are the leading company in the selling and repair of car parts, and just as I anticipated it was a huge turnout of people. The venue for the evening was Berlin's amazing Estrel Hotel which is the capital's biggest hotel and hosts lots of shows and entertainment type events throughout the year. 

For this event I got my own personal outfit on the day to perform in; all Adidas as always! Above is a pretty cool action shot of me just warming up alongside Adriana. Having a small room or space to ourselves to stretch and warm up with some easy tricks before performing is definitely a little thing I can appreciate, rather than just turning up and going straight into it! Taking the time to mentally prepare yourself before a performance or event I find to be incredibly advantageous, thinking about what sort of tricks you want to do but also paying attention to physically how your body is feeling that day, like if there are any particular aches to be aware of.

Of course before every performance I am happy, even if I am a little nervous it is because I really care about it and want to do an amazing performance, the best I possibly can! The photo above sums it up for me really, filled with giddy excitement once you are finished warming up and heading out to the main area.

Here we were just waiting to be called out to perform by the host speaker for the evening's event. If anything, this is always the peak of excitement or nerves for a freestyler but we were welcomed out to a great reception and the main freestyle show we all performed together was really good.

Typical reaction from people watching what we do is to pull out their phones and take pictures and record. I think judging by some people's reactions at this event this was their first time ever really seeing freestyle football so it's great to be able to show people what is really possible with afootball.

Here with Szymon (Poland) and Adriana once again. I remember we ended up showing off our tricks in so many different lighting conditions in this venue which was kind of funny for us but the main show in particular was a huge success I have to say. After the main show we later on continued to perform more freestyle tricks in a much more informal manner as a 'walk around' act of the event. It was really nice to mingle and speak to the guests there and they had a lot of nice things to say about our freestyling!

You might be thinking why would a company that deals in car parts and repairs be interested in working with football freestylers, like where's the connection?

Well the answer is simple, freestylers are a great source of entertainment! Not to be just considered as some kind of athlete that just trains very hard with a football constantly (although we do train very very hard haha), it is nice to be given a platform like these types of events to share freestyle football with others, especially with those who have not seen it before and I cannot stress how good the reception was from this one, I was smiling for a very long time after.

What was great about working with other freestylers at the ATR event is how we all were able to bring our individualities in terms of the tricks we do and our personality together. Szymon for example is a former world champion and demonstrated his crazy upper body skills while I recall doing a lot of sitting down tricks. it's almost as though each freestyler was able to bring their own 'flavour' to this event and show a wide variety of mind blowing skills.

This here is easily my favourite picture from the evening, striking one of my favourite freestyle poses here on the floor with the football on my face! As I said earlier the people who attended the gala event were super appreciative of the freestyle on display with many filming and taking photos as you can again see here from this guy.

All the great photos from this event were taken by Helge Mundt who also happens to be a good friend of mine. You can check out more of his awesome work here.

The ATR event was a huge success and hopefully I get the chance to work with some of those fantastic freestylers again soon.

Peace!