On Friday, May 17, Goal will broadcast on Facebook the first ever Women’s European Freestyle Championships, featuring eight of the best female freestylers in the world, including Dutch teenage sensations Laura Dekker and Jasmijn Janssen and 16-year-old Lucie Quinton from France.
The event takes place on the eve of the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final between Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais. With the biggest names in women’s football due to shine in Budapest's Groupama Arena, including Lyon’s Ada Hegerberg and Shanice van de Sanden, and Lieke Martens and Toni Duggan of Barcelona, the European Freestyle finalists will be in illustrious company.
Former world freestyle champion and #WePlayStrong Ambassador Liv Cooke, will be the head judge for the inaugural competition, which takes place in Budapest's iconic Cinema Hall.
Cooke, a four-time freestyle world-record holder said: “I am so proud to be named head judge for this historic event – the first European freestyle championships dedicated to women. The fact that Europe’s best footballers and freestylers will converge on Budapest will showcase the incredible talent that these girls and women have worked so hard to perfect. It will also be a great experience for fans of football and freestyle to enjoy and something the finalists will never forget. I can’t wait to see what these talented girls can do.”
Roman Putsch, UEFA Head of Marketing Activities said: “It made perfect sense to find a way of collaborating with the first-ever European Freestyle Championships, especially when it is taking place in Budapest in the build-up to the UEFA Women’s Champions League final.
“We have already brought the freestyle and football worlds closer together with Liv Cooke, one of the most famous and successful freestylers of all time, becoming a #WePlayStrong vlogger throughout the Women’s Champions League this season.
“We look forward to supporting the WFFA and sharing the unique stories of the freestyle finalists who are inspired by the footballers who are setting a new benchmark for the women’s game.
“Showcasing that talent before the Women’s Champions League final will be an exciting spectacle for the fans in Budapest and for the massive online audiences across Europe.”
The partnership between the World Freestyle Football Association and #WePlayStrong, UEFA’s women’s football campaign, is the latest example of the football and freestyle crossover, with freestyle champions Liv Cooke and Tobias Becs unveiled as official UEFA EURO 2020 Freestylers as part of the Mascot Team launch for the 60th anniversary of the European Championships.
The Women’s European Freestyle Championships will begin at 5pm BST and can be watched live through the Goal Facebook page.
Although Cooke won't be competing, the women taking to the stage represent some of the best in the world and come from countries including France, Italy, the UK, and Poland. The full roster of athletes includes the following:
Laura Dekker - Netherlands - @Laurafreestyle_
Aged 18, Decker is the reigning European Female Freestyle Champion and will be looking to retain her title as the event takes this new format in 2019. She brings an intense style of hardcore lower moves that will be hard to beat.
Aguska Mnich - Poland - @Aguskafree
Mnich is the reigning World Female Freestyle Champion after taking the title in 2018 on her home soil in Warsaw, Poland. Her all-round ability and worldwide experience means she will be more than a match for anyone on her day and therefore is one of the favourites for the title.
Lucia Kevicka - Slovakia - @Lucia_freestyle
At 25, Kevicka is the most experienced competitor taking to the stage in Budapest. However since 2012, she has finished as vice-champion in almost every competition! Maybe Budapest will inspire Kevicka to finally take the winners trophy.
Lucie Quinton - Netherlands
At just 16 years of age, Quinton is the youngest of all competitors. She burst into the international freestyle circuit in 2019 and the Women’s European Freestyle Championships will be her first live competitive event.
Anastasia Bagaglini - Italy - @anastasiafastfoot
Anastasia is just 17 years old, but already has created huge expectation and set standards within the freestyle community in Italy and across Europe. She brings an exciting energy to the stage and could produce a few upsets in this competition.
Jasmijn Janssen - Netherlands - @jasmijnjanssen
Janssen has represented the Netherlands in the World Championships for the last two years already and brings a stylish all-round set of skills to the stage.
Yoanna Dallier - France - @Yoannafreestyle
Dallier is going to be a very tough opponent for anyone to face. She is consistent, stylish and mixes up all aspects of freestyle, allowing her to respond to almost any other athlete in battle.
Kalina Matysiak - Poland - @kalina_fs
Matysiak won the 2018 Female World Masters in Tokyo and has been one of the strongest athletes in the female scene for many years. She is a great example of how strong the Polish community is in freestyle football and will be focusing on winning this event.