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‘Freestyle soccer is a fusion of artwork and sport,’ says Hadiya Hakeem

The freestyle footballer from Kozhikode is simply again from Qatar, the place she participated within the Influencer Cup held as a part of the run-up to FIFA World Cup 2022

The freestyle footballer from Kozhikode is simply again from Qatar, the place she participated within the Influencer Cup held as a part of the run-up to FIFA World Cup 2022

Hadiya Hakeem is on the high of the Twister Tower in Doha, Qatar, juggling a ball along with her toes. On the dizzying top of 640 toes, the tower affords a 360-degree view of Doha, however Hadiya is immersed in her efficiency, letting the ball roll round her physique with out touching the bottom.

The freestyle footballer from Kozhikode, Kerala, was just lately on the Influencer Cup, representing India within the Asia Staff.
Freestyle soccer is the artwork of artistic expression utilizing a soccer, combining components of sport and artwork. A freestyle footballer juggles the ball together with his or her toes or another a part of the physique, usually excluding the elbows and arms. “Freestyling treads the advantageous line between dance and sport. It’s a means of self-expression with a soccer. Nevertheless, even somebody who has by no means performed common soccer can do it,” she says.

The Influencer Cup, organised by the Supreme Committee for Supply & Legacy, Qatar Airways and Go to Qatar, had 29 soccer influencers from totally different elements of the world competing. Hosted at Stadium 974, one of many FIFA World Cup 2022 venues in Qatar, the matches had influencers showcasing their freestyling expertise. “We even acquired to work together with famend footballers Cafu, Tim Cahill and Yaya Toure. These are folks whom I’ve admired since childhood, and it was a dream come true for me. I even picked up a trick or two from them.” 

Freestyle footballer Hadiya Hakeem at Stadium 974 in Qatar
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Feminine freestyler

Nineteen-year-old Hadiya was the one feminine presence within the Asia Staff, which received the silver medal. Having performed common soccer throughout her faculty days in Qatar, the place her household had been primarily based then, Hadiya transitioned to freestyling as soon as they returned to India in 2016. “For a woman, there have been few alternatives to proceed soccer teaching. My faculty didn’t have a women’ soccer workforce. However I began freestyling at dwelling and it appeared like an entire world had opened up earlier than me,” she says.

Hadiya is presently pursuing her BA in English Literature from Dr Gafoor Memorial MES Faculty, Mambad. 

In love with soccer

Hadiya’s expertise have earned her a rising tribe of followers on her social media channels, which have movies of her spinning the ball on her finger, balancing the ball deftly on her again and brow and her easy approach in rotating the ball round her knees and toes. 

Having grown up in a household of soccer followers, the game got here naturally to her, says Hadiya. However as she gravitated in the direction of freestyling, she started to benefit from the freedom it gave her. “At any time when I learnt a brand new trick, it made me extraordinarily glad. I forgot all my worries.” She learnt freestyle by movies on the web, spending hours studying, practising and perfecting her expertise by tutorials. “When you get the approach proper, you’re free to improvise the strikes,” she provides.

Hadiya Hakeem 

Hadiya Hakeem 
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Although freestyle soccer continues to be catching on in India, curiosity in it has been on a gentle rise. “Numerous Indian freestylers, ladies included, are showcasing their expertise on social media and a few of them are even providing to show.” 

Hadiya says she will get a number of messages from women, who love soccer. “We nonetheless don’t have soccer academies providing to teach women. There may be expertise and love for the sport. I wish to work for the event of soccer for ladies,” she says, including “I’m glad with my journey to date. And I’d proceed to compete and attend as many tournaments as potential.”

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