Street football

The terms street football and (in the United States and Canada) street soccer encompass a number of informal varieties of association football. These informal pick up games do not necessarily follow the requirements of a formal game of football, such as a large field, field markings, goal apparatus and corner flags, eleven players per team, or match officials (referee and assistant referees).[1][2]

Jumpers for Goalposts leads here. For the Ed Sheeran film, see Jumpers for Goalposts: Live at Wembley Stadium
Street football, Venice (1960)
Street football in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
Street pitches are common in Libya, especially near highways and flyovers


Boys playing street football in Egypt

Street football is more similar to beach football and futsal than to association football. Often the most basic of set-ups will involve just a ball with a wall or fence used as a goal, or items such as clothing being used for goalposts[1][3] (hence the phrase "jumpers for goalposts"). The phrase was used by Ed Sheeran in his 2015 documentary Jumpers for Goalposts: Live at Wembley Stadium as a nod to playing the concerts at Wembley Stadium,[4] the "home of football."[5]

Children playing with an improvised garbage ball in Tanzania

In some cases, a standard ball is not available and street football depends on a ball made out of garbage, such as discarded plastic.[6][7] Handwalla Bwana, describing street football in the Kakuma refugee camp said "We used to make a garbage ball. We used to go through the garbage cans and make as much soccer ball as we could" and attributed use of the garbage ball to being better with his feet.[8][9] Johan Cruyff has said "Footballers from the street are more important than trained coaches."[10]

The ease of playing these informal games on the streets and open spaces make football the most popular sport in the world.[11]

Organizations and tournaments

Currently several common street football organisations exist (Streetfootballworld, SISM Street Soccer in the USA, The International Street Soccer Association, WhizzKids United, Buntkicktgut, Street Soccer USA). Nowadays, street football is also one method for coaching young football players[12] and is realized with freestyle football, which has grown in popularity since the early 2000s when Nike began to focus on street football and freestyle via their TV ads.[13][14]

The first Street Football World Championship took place in the Mariannenplatz in Berlin-Kreuzberg.[15] The World Street 3s, the first international World Street Soccer Championships took place in Manchester on 25 September 2016.[16]

The United States held their first international tournament in 2014. The American Panna & Freestyle Tournament hosted by SISM Street Soccer[17] took place in San Jose, California. The inaugural event consisted of freestyle football, street soccer and panna. The event drew many top professionals from around the world to judge and compete in the Bay Area. [18]

Video games

In 2005, video game publisher Electronic Arts introduced FIFA Street, a franchise based on street football and freestyle football. FIFA Street series focuses on flair, style and trickery, reflecting the cultures of street football and freestyle football played in streets and backlots across the world.

In 2019, Electronic Arts added a Volta gameplay mode to FIFA 20. It shares similarities to the FIFA Street series and has a storyline of a street football player playing through the ranks, both making new friends and losing old ones along the way.[19][20]

See also


  1. Meseguer, Pedro (November 7, 2016). "El fútbol callejero" (in Spanish). Alicante: Futbol Jobs. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  2. "Fútbol Callejero: Historia, trucos, jugadas y mucho más" (in Spanish). Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  3. Kummetz, Pablo (October 19, 2004). "Fútbol callejero para la integración social" (in Spanish). Berlin: Deutsche Welle. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  4. "Watch the trailer for Ed Sheeran's exuberant concert film 'Jumpers for Goalposts'". USA Today. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  5. Horne, John; Manzenreiter, Wolfram (11 January 2013). Japan, Korea and the 2002 World Cup. ISBN 9781135140212.
  6. Thélia, Jerome (9 June 2014). "One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Soccer Ball | Op-Docs | The New York Times". YouTube. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  7. Berlin, Jeremy; Hilltout, Jessica (2013-02-01). "Joy Is Round". National Geographic Magazine. Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  8. Pentz, Matt (28 October 2016). "Handwalla Bwana could be the next Seattle soccer star. But first he must conquer his American Dream". Seattle Times.
  9. "New Homegrown Player Handwalla Bwana sits down for first interview". Sounders FC. 12 January 2018. 2 minutes 44 seconds. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  10. "Welcome to News - They said It: Johan Cruyff -". Retrieved 2020-10-23.
  11. "Street Soccer" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 15, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2019. Soccer is the undisputed # 1 game in the world and the primary way kids around the world developed their ball skills was through “street soccer”. World-class players came out of this environment.
  12. Modern Sports Stories Publication, published 09/09/2013. Staff interview with Darren Laver, Page 96.
  13. "UK's and World's Best Football Freestyle Agency". Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  14. "Welcome". World Class Freestyle - Freestyle Football Event Hire - Search Freestylers by Location - #1 Freestyle Soccer agency. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  15. (in English and German) Street Football World Festival 2006 Archived 2007-01-22 at the Wayback Machine not in reference
  16. "NETHERLANDS WIN THE FIRST WORLD STREET 3s CHAMPIONSHIP – World Street 3s". Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  17. "SISM Street Soccer and Freestyle Tournaments | Street Soccer and Freestyle Lifestyle". Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  18. "History of American Panna & Freestyle Tournament". SISM Street Soccer. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  19. Yin-Poole, Wesley (8 June 2019). "Confirmed: FIFA 20 has a FIFA Street mode called Volta Football". Eurogamer. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  20. Horti, Samuel (8 June 2019). "FIFA 20 has a FIFA Street-style mode called Volta, EA confirms". PC Gamer. Retrieved 4 November 2020.