Street football: the sport shared anywhere in the world
If it is already an informal sport practiced in every corner of the planet, it has increased its popularity thanks to the video game FIFA Street, and can be understood as a tool for social transformation, which promotes values such as integration, tolerance, respect, solidarity, teamwork, participation and changes competition for collaboration and construction of the rules of the game through agreements and participation.
Street soccer encompasses different informal varieties of soccer, but does not necessarily use the requirements of a formal game. Unlike traditional football, it is mixed and there are no referees; Thanks to this, dialogue is encouraged in neighborhoods and communities with little accessibility to clubs, sports and recreational spaces. It was practiced by many of the best players in football history, such as Pelé, Romario, Eusebio, Cruyff, Maradona, Ronaldo, Messi, Robinho, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Its history is located first in the Greeks, who devised a ball filled with air to facilitate its practice and movement; later we go to the ancient east, with China, which used this as military training (also with two teams and a ball whose objective was to enter the opposite part, with the feet or with the hands, it was also possible), and in Japan, seen more as entertainment and fun (but same rules).
This street football came to Latin America through organizations that were looking for activities that would help in the integration of young people from the poorest neighborhoods, until it spread to every corner of the planet (hence its greater weight compared to football on TV; it was sought to promote sports activity in the street and the practice of sports as a way of overcoming and improving coexistence).
Of note is the Homeless World Cup (HWC): Founded in 2003, it is a charity that uses football to inspire homeless people to change their own lives. Its main objective is to rehabilitate homeless people from different parts of the continents, promoting their self-esteem and optimal recovery, and it has the support of the UEFA, ONU y The International Network of Street Publications. Although most of the countries are European, Americans such as the United States, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Honduras, Canada, Brazil, El Salvador, Peru, and Mexico also participate. The 4th edition (in 2006) was undoubtedly unforgettable: it took place in Cape Town, South Africa and was attended by several African countries, breaking records for the number of teams present. In addition, the game was held in the same square where Nelson Mandela had given his first speech since his release from prison, something that added even more value to the event.
La Copa América de Fútbol Callejero was born in 2012 as a new branch of the Homeless World Cup but in South America.
There is another form of street football with great weight, the Freestyle. It emerged at the end of the XNUMXth century at the hands of one of the most outstanding jugglers of the time, Enrico Rastelli. Later and as a result of this, jugglers in circuses began to do tricks by turning a ball with different parts of the body, in most cases with their feet. This type of football became very popular when Nike began to create advertising campaigns with the basic freestyle.