Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


This Kid Might Be The Best Freestyler In the World. And He’s Only 16.

On Sunday, November 16, unbeknownst to most of the general public, Red Bull crowned the World Street Style Champion. While Andrew Henderson of the U.K. took home the trophy (and his performance is absolutely a must-watch), perhaps the more interesting battle took place in the semi-final between Soufiane Bencok of Belgium and Erlend Fagerli of Norway. Interesting because Erlend Fagerli is 16 and, despite his age and youthful looks, is poised to take over as the best freestyle footballer in the world. In fact, he came very close to achieving this goal in the 2014 finals.

Here's an excerpt of the play-by-play from the commentators during the Red Bull Street Style semi-final:

“I was just gonna say, I think Bencok’s got a bit of the nerves knowing he’s going up against Erlend, here. Erlend, eh… [I] just don’t think he cares.”


“At this point I just think he’s so happy to be at this place in the competition, that after this nothing else matters, which could be an advantage for him.”

“It seems like he’s just practicing, you know, in his garden at home.”


“He’s just making it look too easy.”

Somewhere along that line of dialogue, the commentators for the Red Bull Street Style 2014 World Final realized that newcomer Erlend Fagerli was for real. 

If we had to venture a guess, the exact moment of realization came just after that last commentator said “too,” and just before he said “easy,” but we’ll just let you be the judge of that:                                                        


The dialogue in question occurs around 1:28 in the video, and we can’t decide if the commentators just feel sorry for Bencok, or if they are genuinely offended that some 16-year-old newcomer from Norway just made their beloved competition look like a joke. Erlend did just sweep his previous opponent, and those same commentators didn’t believe that could happen until it did, so we are inclined to go with the latter.

Erlend’s talent eventually proved to be the truth, and the commentators could help but recognize that fact. In a semi-final that pitted Erlend against the freestyler that he considers to be the best in the world, the commentators were so convinced that Erlend outperformed his idol that they practically cried “Robbery!” when he wasn’t given the win.

Those two commentators eventually saw the light, but the rest of the world better follow suit, because Erlend Fagerli is going to dominate the Street Style circuit for the foreseeable future. This kid is that good, and has been that good for a long time. 

In the age of YouTube, it is no surprise that Erlend has been making and uploading freestyle videos for quite a while now, and from those videos it is easy to see that Erlend is a boy-wonder. Even at 13, Erlend was out-doing his older brother.

We can just imagine Erlend coming home from school everyday and practicing his moves with his older brother. It really seems like those two would be happy kicking around a soccer ball in that beautiful Norwegian countryside for the rest of their lives, and without a doubt that is one of the reasons why Erlend is as good as he is now. 

And indeed, what will really dictate Erlend's success in future freestyle tournaments will be his dedication to the sport, which, after his 3rd place finish at the World Final, seems to be at an all time high. In an interview with a Norwegian newspaper, Erlend voiced his ambitions for establishing a professional freestyle career for himself, and described his mood as “insanely happy.” 

As of right now, there is very little money to be made solely through competition, with many freestylers earning pay through sponsorships and performance acts. If he can find the right backing, Erlend definitely has the talent to succeed. With any luck, this all means that Erlend will just get better and better. That, after all, is a trait of Erlend’s that those aforementioned commentators have already noticed:

“And now he’s getting into that [flair] aspect of it. His confidence is raising each time he gets on the floor.”

At the rate he is going, Erlend just might never want to get off it.

Videos you might like