Aarish Ansari isn’t your average football player. It isn’t too long before a few dribbles with the football turn into a spectacular performance rife with outer worldly tricks and moves that have been the result of years’ worth of practice.
Aarish is a professional Freestyle Footballer, which is a form of art and expression through performing various tricks with a football. And it’s not uncommon that you’d find him on a couple of best Freestyle Footballers’ lists.
The footballer’s tryst with the sport began in his formative years, when he played football for his school, college, and various other clubs. However, it was during his free time when he would juggle the ball, practise a couple of stunts and tricks with it, as a ‘stressbuster’. And that’s how his journey began. Aarish is now a Guinness World Record Holder for the most number of football cross-overs (a staggering 58) in 30 seconds while sitting, for which he underwent training for over a year.
He now runs a football academy with a friend that teaches the art to enthusiasts over the weekends. Having no resources or guidance when he began venturing into the field is what motivated Aarish to help newcomers with some basic skills. “It was tough for me because there were things that I could have learnt in two months, which took me almost a year to learn. I didn’t want the newer generation to face the problem I did, and so I founded my academy to help the sport grow”, says Aarish.
For anyone who aspired to make freestyle footballing a career, you need to know football as a sport itself. “Majority of freestylers are footballers who were injured, or some other circumstances which made them venture into freestyle footballing”, he says. And to transform it into a fulltime career – “Spend 2-3 years perfecting your craft. Build some good contacts and make quality content for people to watch, and get the word going”, Aarish says.
Watch the full interview here.