Professional Football-Freestyler

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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.

Philippe GnanntComment
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!

Philippe GnanntComment
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.

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.

Philippe GnanntComment
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.

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all of the lights // 📸 @viktorschanz

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Philippe Gnannt (@philippefreestyle) am

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!

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details // 📸 @viktorschanz

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Philippe Gnannt (@philippefreestyle) am

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!