by Mir Shabbir Ali [Dawn]
KARACHI: World champion football freestyler Séan Garnier believes that the game of football is way easier than freestyling.
Hailing from France, Garnier has ‘wowed’ the audiences from around the world with his unique set of freestyle skills where he literally makes the ball dance.
Since November 17, he is in Pakistan, thanks to Red Bull, and after visiting Lahore and Karachi, he is set to tour Islamabad and Peshawar this week before flying back.
On Sunday, Séan enthralled a handsome crowd at a local hotel with his mind-blowing freestyle skills and brilliant ball control. Making it seem as if the ball was glued to his body all the time, Séan mixed his lithe body movements with break-dance and ‘bhangra’ while never losing possession of the ball.
Later, speaking to Dawn, the 31-year-old made it clear that he does not want to represent football, but is here with a message for the youth to ‘be themselves’ and express their uniqueness through football freestyling.
“I’m not here to promote football,” said Séan who has baffled world famous soccer players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Ashley Cole and Zinedine Zidane in dazzling one-to-one contests over the years.
Séan started off as an association footballer, notably for Auxerre and Troyes, but was unable to pursue his dream of playing professional football due to a string of injuries.
“I played professional football when I was younger but injuries forced me out of the game. But still, I am on top and can do things with the ball many footballers can’t,” he said.
Today, the Frenchman seems to have lost the love for the game of football, though. He thinks that playing or watching football is rather boring.
“Having the ball for a few seconds in your feet and shooting it into the net is not difficult,” he said.
According to Séan it required harder work to achieve excellence in freestyle as compared to what it takes to become the best in football.
“Professional footballers train two hours a day while freestylers require eight hours a day to train and achieve perfection,” added the Frenchman.
Séan believed that football freestyling can be learnt by anyone who is dedicated and practices hard as it is free of rules, unlike football itself.
With a host of French Championships and podium finishes under his belt, Séan Garnier is committed to develop and further enhance the creativity of freestyle football along with his team, Street Style Society.
“Freestyle football is all about expressing yourself without being confined by rules and regulations,” said the RedBull Street Style champion.
“Freestyle can be differently approached by every different person. It’s all about showing the world what you are.”