Erlend Fagerli: Great freestyle football aiming to make history at 2022 Red Bull Street Style World Finals – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
(CNN) – Erlend Fagerli is one of the most renowned freestyle footballers in the world.
Fagerli has played a major role in the sport for over 13 years, his hard work and dedication has earned him eight world championships.
The 25-year-old Norwegian is hoping to claim his ninth title at the 2022 Red Bull Street Style World Finals, which takes place on October 8 in Pula, Croatia.
And he didn’t make the trip alone. Along with his brother Brynjar, the Fagerlis rose to the top of the sport.
It all started in May 2009 when, at the age of 11 and 14, Erlend and Brynjar turned to YouTube for entertainment. They came across freestyle football videos and immediately fell in love with the sport.
“It was like something clicked inside us because we always wanted to do something special,” Erlend told CNN Sport.
Inspired by what they saw, the Fagerli brothers followed their urge to try something new and grabbed the nearest football to start training. Stemming from an already innate admiration for football, the transition to freestyle was easy for Erlend; playing both regular and freestyle for a few years before devoting himself entirely to freestyle football.
After just seven years of involvement in the sport, Fagerli won his first world title at the 2016 Superball; but the win that stands out the most for him didn’t come until the 2018 Superball, when he won for the second time.
“It’s really something special to be able to do it once again and prove that you’re not just a one-time freestyler, but you’re in it for the long haul,” he said. .
Despite his repeated successes, Fagerli expresses that his goal is not just to win championships, but rather that his “biggest goal is always to try to get better at freestyle and explore how good we can become. “.
To push herself to new heights, Fagerli trains at least once a day, with the first 10 minutes spent doing nothing but thinking: “During those 10 minutes, you have activated your mind, and maybe be you will be able to discover something during the session.”
It’s a vital time that helps him in his conceptualization of tricks and allows him to create routines advanced enough to win back-to-back world titles, as he did at Red Bull Street Style 2020 and 2021, followed by the Superball tournament. 2021.
“A sister project”
Erlend and Brynjar both started their freestyle football journeys on the same day, and the duo never stopped training together.
Throughout their careers they have been partners and rivals and naturally freestyle football has become something that has brought the two brothers even closer together.
“It’s been like a sister project for us to explore our limits in freestyle, and we’ve been doing it for over 13 years now,” Erlend explained. “I don’t even know if I would have even started if he hadn’t existed…we’ve always supported each other, even though we’re also rivals, so that was so important to me.”
However, it hasn’t always been easy for Erlend to have an older brother leading the way. There were also moments of discouragement.
“At the start of freestyle, Brynjar was older and taller, and he was improving so much faster than me…So I was about to quit at that point.”
Feeling he was falling behind, Fagerli did the only thing he could do: he trained.
After setting up his camera, he pulled off the ‘alternate mitch around the world’ for the first time. The trick is to toss the ball in the air twice while whipping both legs around the ball, while in the air.
Upon realizing he had accomplished the feat that would become pivotal to his burgeoning freestyle journey, emotions washed over Fagerli as he broke down in tears of joy.
Change the game
From then on, it was higher and higher for Fagerli. The Norwegian is not just at the top of his game, but at the top of the sport, putting him in a position where other competitors look to him for advice and inspiration – and he’s noticed his impact on the freestyle soccer.
There are three main formats of this sport: “uppers” (doing tricks with the upper body), “lowers” (doing tricks with the lower body) and sit-downs (doing tricks while seated ).
Prior to Fagerli’s contribution to freestyle, these were mostly divided into separate routines. However, in 2014 Fagerli came up with something new. “I kind of brought in the transitions as well, that’s how you find yourself between those parts, so I think one of the influences for me is that we can combine everything into one flow.”
Being able to influence the way the sport is played is a big part of what makes freestyle fun for Fagerli. Seeing young freestylers performing his tricks and concepts is “such a good feeling” because he hopes they can take inspiration from it to find their own path.
Around the world
Fagerli has been traveling the world winning world-class tournaments since 2016, and he doesn’t know when he’ll stop, but his sights are set on the 2022 Red Bull Street Style Championship.
If Fagerli triumphs in the upcoming event, he will be the first athlete to win three consecutive Red Bull Street Style titles.
“Anything can happen and it’s always so interesting to see how other freestylers are doing so well because there are so many new guys who are showing great promise… But, of course, my goal is to beat the performance of last year.”
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