All thanks to The Cage & Manchester Utd Soccer School (MUSS) for the great street futbol experience over the short weekend. Street Kings – Edward Van Gils and Issy “Hitman” Hamdaoui, together with Khalid Hamdaoui,
All thanks to The Cage & Manchester Utd Soccer School (MUSS) for the great street futbol experience over the short weekend. Street Kings – Edward Van Gils and Issy “Hitman” Hamdaoui, together with Khalid Hamdaoui, were in town for a clinic. I am one of those luckiest boys who had the once-in-a-life-time opportunity to interact and mingle with them. And where could be the best place to interact and mingle with them other than on a futsal pitch!
Street Kings is made up of Edward Van Gils and Issy “Hitman” Hamdaoui. Edward is one of the pioneers of street futbol and is one of the first internationally known street futbol players in the world. Looking through his portfolio, he owes an amazing resume such as working with Coca Cola, EA Sports where he did the motion capture for Fifa Street II & III, and even had one of the leading roles in numerous Nike campaigns worldwide and has done commercials with football stars like Ronaldinho and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
For his partner, Issy Hitman, is one of the most respected street futbol players in the world. Just how good he is, well, check out his akka-panna foot work from the youtube and you will know. Similar to Edward, Issy does not have an “Issy” (pronounced as easy) life too. He did a Nike commercial with Messi in 2005 and currently he’s plying his trade as a professional futsal player in Netherland and Belgium concurrently.
Travelling together with them was also Khalid Hamdaoui, the only professional futbol player, who is currently turning out for Raja Casablanca. Khalid is the elder brother of Issy’s who does have his own fair share of great professional achievement. Khalid represented the dutch national youth team while playing for Ajax Amsterdam youth. His famous team mates included Roy Makaay and Rafael Van Der Vaart. At the age of 18, Khalid went on to shine in the J-League with Tokyo Verdy 1969 and Dundee FC in the scottish league in year 2007.
Previously, I also had the chance to play with some of the world famous freestylers like S3’s Sean, Gautier and Wass, Jeon Kwon (JK) and Kamalio when they were in town last year. Although all of them were equally friendly, I have got a much better and stronger impression of this trio here. Simply say, the 3 of them are the most friendliest lot I have met so far!
Back to the pitch, futsal is their forte and of course we are talking about skilled footwork here in action! Its amazing to see what they do with the ball at their feet. In fact, as a player facing them, you are almost defending in fear not knowing which is their right and final move. You anticipate their next movement but likelyhood you will be fooled! The quick feet of theirs which I have met were stunning and lighting fast. Not only me, I believe the rest of the boys who played with them last Sunday at The Cage would agree with me. Simply amazing, fellows!
After the whole clinic ended, the trio accepted Junpiter Futbol’s interview and had some photos taken. Throughout the entire interview, there was not a single thin layer of arrogance detected. Their fun-loving characters reflected their generosity and humbleness despite being crowned street futbol legends. There’s obviously a thing or two to learn from them to be honest.
So what did they share with Junpiter Futbol on their legendary lifes? What is the one thing about themselves which they shared exclusively with Junpiter Futbol which they have not ever shared with any other body before??
Stay tune for JPF TALK – featuring Street Kings Edward Van Gils & Issy Hitman, and Khalid Hamdaoui!