Freestyle Football is closely related to Panna Football –Panna Football is a form of Freestyle-. Freestyle football has existed for some time now, but it has seen a surge in popularity as a result of global advertising campaigns and digital media sharing. In the early 21st century, Nike began an advertising campaign which relied heavily on the freestyle form of football, including video clips of freestyle performances. The videos are called Joga Bonito which means “play Beautifully.” These advertisements featured famous players such as Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Edgar Davids. Many link such mass media attention to the start of the freestyle craze. In the YouTube era, however, many previously non-famous players have risen to prominence, and internet searches easily yield thousands of videos by amateur “freestylers” around the world.
Some of the more notable freestylers include: Hee Young Woo (Mr. Woo) of South Korea and John Farnworth, who appeared in Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. Some of the most notable Freestyler’s are Rickard “Palle” Sjolander, Anders “Azun” Solum, Pawel Skora, Lukas “Luki” Chwieduk, Andrew Henderson, Tamas “FX” Suru, Rocco, Maxim Zhakarov, Krystof “Clyde” Golonka, Jeon Kwon, Jon Konik and youngster Zakir Hussain also some of the most notable women in the sport are Mélody Donchet and Indi Cowie. Sweden, United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Norway, France and Poland are considered the best countries in the world regarding freestyle football.
Shortly after, Nike launched a freestyle football competition on the internet “Nike Football”, in which participants could submit their own clips and receive feedback from a worldwide audience.
In December 2006 the “Masters of The Game” competition, held in Amsterdam and was won by John Farnworth. Nutmeg or Panna and other street football competitions have been held featuring street soccer players such as Edward Van Gils ‘Edje’, Issy Hitman, and Jermaine Vanenburg ‘Vaantje’.
The French Arnaud “Séan” Garnier is the first world champion of Red Bull Street Style Soccer, with an impeccable performance. The final of the Red Bull Street Style competition was held in Brazil In November 2008. Arnaud Garnier “Séan” beat out the other 42 competitors to win the competition.
The 2010 Red Bull street style was held in Cape Town South Africa April 24-28. The winner was Anders “Azun” Solum from Norway, who beat Kamalio Ranchod from South Africa in the final.