This afternoon, Christine, Sven and I are strolling through the capital, looking for some cool spots to shoot. We’re talking about Sven Fielitz’ extraordinary career and about his growing success in Luxembourg and abroad. The young football freestyler and entrepreneur has some awesome tricks up his sleeve, and tells me more about his passion for the freestyle football community, which is constantly growing, even in the tiny Grand Duchy.
Sven comes prepared, carrying not one, but two footballs. Not far from the Gëlle Fra, we’re starting to take our first pictures. “Of course, what I’m doing now is somewhat less common”, says Sven, jumps on the stone wall and shows us his first moves. “But I’m feeling way happier than working in an office. In Luxembourg, it’s certainly not easy making a good living on it.” After his studies in Munich, Sven wanted to give it a go. The Luxembourger soon realised how much potential there was, and learned to always look beyond the borders as well. “It’s clear that you have more opportunities to land shows and be awarded contracts in a big metropolis. However, I don’t think you’re necessarily limited in Luxembourg - especially since we’re so close to our neighbouring countries. It’s fairly easy for me to work in France, Belgium or the Netherlands, for instance. You have to be alert to market yourself over the borders as well. Per year, I’m participating in two or three competitions - for instance, the so-called Super Ball in Prague. Plus, there’s the European Championships, where in 2015 I surprisingly came in fourth.” In all modesty, he explains: “In the round of 32, I competed against the then number two in the world. He clearly was judged favourite, and I went into the battle without really thinking I had a real chance. In the end, I came out on top.”
I want to know more about the way Sven prepares for such competitions. “I’m simply training harder”, answers the young athlete. “I go running more often, try to improve on my endurance and work out about five times a week. Naturally, it’s important to rest in-between. For my next competitions, I’m trying to train more on sets. In a battle, you usually get blocks of 30 seconds to perform your tricks. There are many entrants who specifically train towards those blocks.” Is that still freestyle or is it rather a choreography? “I always try to build in enough free room to improvise”, says Sven, “so I have the chance to make adjustments during battle. I think it’s important that you’re able to answer to whatever your opponent is performing. If you’re only training sets, the essence of freestyle battle gets lost.”
"Never would I have thought that this would be my ticket to travel the world."
Sven Fielitz has travelled quite a bit throughout the world, and has been freestyling in Beijing, London, Prague and Copenhagen. “I’ve always liked playing soccer. I was that kid who constantly tried to dribble. At some point, I started to juggle the soccer ball. Never would I have thought that this would be my ticket to travel the world. The ball has taken me to places I never dreamt of ever being able to visit. And of course, I’m proud to represent Luxembourg wherever I go.” We’ve walked quite a bit today and have arrived at Neumünster Abbey to take some more pictures. “It’s hard to describe the joy you feel when you finally land that trick”, laughs Sven and runs over the bridge to the other side of the Alzette, where he performs some more dope tricks.
In the beginning, Sven was the only one in Luxembourg who actively performed freestyle football. “In the past two years, more and more people joined. They’re super motivated - they’re even approaching me, asking me how they can improve on their skills”, Sven smiles. “Freestyle football is an open community in which everybody can be who they are. It’s a privilege for me to train with other people and to pass on my knowledge.”
Over the past few months, the passionate freestyler has become more active as a videographer, shooting and editing videos for the World Freestyle Football Association and Red Bull. “Even though I’ve had a bit less time to go training, freestyle still remains a big part of my life.”