In my country, we grew up playing football in the street. God gave us this talent and football brings a lot of joy
to these people. We choose football. I’m Gundeep, I’m an ex youth worker, and I started The Last Stand. The Last Stand is a street football
tournament that unites communities, using the power of football
to inspire young people from challenging backgrounds. Everyone needs that spotlight,
that platform to show what they can do. When people have
that sense of achievement, it’s a domino effect
to achieve greater things. We need to grow, we need to be bigger, take it to the level
where we kind of dream or aspire to be. I’m about to visit Amsterdam,
Paris and Berlin to meet some street football legends, people that have had real impact
in their own communities. And to be honest, I think street football
is on the rise in the UK and I’m hoping meeting the people
that started and shaped the movement will give me some amazing insights
to take back home. The thing on the street is
you’ll run into all types of people. Some confront you with aggression.
How will you react? But the ball makes it a game. 80% of players
started with street football. It’s the DNA of football. Everything I have achieved started with me picking up a ball and playing on the streets. I can’t imagine a life
without street football. It has developed a life of its own. Amsterdam culture, you have
the real Dutch Amsterdam culture, then you have
to take into account influence from Suriname, Morocco and Turkey. If you talk about street soccer, names
like akka or panna are Surinamese words. Amsterdam had a lot of street footballers.
I started filming a lot of these guys. Today, you can call it influencer.
Back then, it was blogging. The exposure it gave those kids
made them believe, “My talent has purpose,” you know,
“I can achieve something with it.” If you don’t have a goal in life,
troubles begin. Once I started playing street football
and I saw I had a future in it, I suddenly had a goal,
and that made a big difference. So I changed my life.
I stopped doing crime. And I started playing on the streets more
often, tried to help out other people. When people see you putting in effort,
they want to help you. Edward Van Gils,
when I first saw him, I was like, “OK, he’s the guy who breaks legs.” Everybody there was like,
“Whoa, this dude is crazy!” -You want a spicy one or the mild?
-Which one is good? They’re both good, man. To start, the whole panna thing,
why did it get so big? It has to do with Jermaine Vanenburg. Now, Jermaine Vanenburg
was a nephew of Gerald Vanenburg, who played with Cruyff together, so the name Vanenburg
was already associated with skills. This guy created a game
of nutmegging people, scoring goals, winning tournaments,
and he fascinated everyone with it. I invented the panna knockout game. And a panna is a word from Suriname. If you have a panna, the real panna knockout is playing
a ball between a player’s legs and you’ve got to have the ball. Street football, the first stage,
coming to a new country, is the street. By the people, for the people. I play futsal, I play panna,
I play street soccer. Everything to do with football, I dig. All I need is a ball. We are the first in Germany to try to get young people
into street football. We try to be these role models
in terms of street football, so they can see what is possible. I’m from Libya originally. Because there was a war going on in Libya, I decided to leave. If I had stayed any longer, I would be dead. I just looked for people on the street. Sometimes I would just ask them, “Who is the best player?” “This guy, this guy!” Then I told him “Ok, if you beat me,
I’ll give you 50 Euros.” No-one has ever managed to nutmeg me. The fact that a lot of street footballers are from an immigrant background
is noticeable in the sense that anybody with a different
origin offers a different perspective. It’s interesting to see how that leads
to new styles and skills. If it has an influence,
it’s a positive one. Go to Neukölln, Kreuzberg, Wedding or to a street pitch anywhere in Berlin
with a ball and you will see many different
nationalities playing with each other without speaking the same language. Football is a universal language,
definitely. I don’t speak a single word of French, neither do these kids
speak a word of English. We’ve been able to communicate
and it’s breaking the barrier down. Can I be on your team? The way Paris is built, you’ve got one big stadium
in each entrance into Paris. And in each neighbourhood,
whether it’s the suburbs or Paris, you have a city stadium
by council estates. The real teams come from the suburbs. There are teams
in departments 93, 77, 78, 91, 92. I guess street players, everyone’s dream
is to play… professional. Yes. But let’s imagine, in street football, if you could have stadiums and you could have the money,
the fame, the cars, the glory… -They will never play 11.
-Yeah. You know, that’s what I think,
because street football is free. No-one is telling you what to do.
You’re free. The fact that you have players like Mbappé
and others like Mahrez who go back to the pitches in their
neighbourhoods is super important, because you must never forget
where you’re from. “I started where you are now
and look at where you can end up.” My name is Ferhat. I’m the technical director
of a football club, Paris Alesia, which is here, where I’m in charge of 800 members
and 60 instructors. Why is it important
to invest in young people? Quite simply because
they’re the citizens of tomorrow. Each boy that we train today
is the man of tomorrow. If we teach him good values, a good education through sport,
he can only become a good person. So for kids who have maybe
lost their bearings, who have social problems at home, etc, it becomes the place
where they take their first steps, and as a consequence,
street football is where they start. Children have a lot of peer pressure. They’ve got more problems
than we can think of. Once you pick up the ball, your mind is
free, you don’t think about your troubles. Creating that environment
for children is important. What we used to do is find pitches
within apartment buildings. So when we started playing
and put on the music, everybody was sitting on balconies,
barbecuing, and they were looking down
and we had our own stadium. It’s at the heart,
in the heart of the neighbourhood, it’s a meeting place,
it’s a football pitch. Everything happens on the pitch. Street soccer is all we have in Libya. we made our goals
out of a little bit of wood, stones, car tyres, whatever. All the cages you see were built after the
street players created this whole scene. They started building things like this for
kids. “They like cages? We build cages.” I feel at home here. I might not be born here, but Berlin is a huge part of me. “Ich bin ein Berliner.” Absolutely. The score will be important, but if we play ten times,
we will no longer remember scores. We’ll forget about the score. However, all the moves that happened
during the ten matches, no-one will forget. When I was nine, ten, I was bouncing the
ball off the wall with tears in my eyes because of things at home,
and now I’m on top of the world. It’s amazing what’s happening
in Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris. Groundbreakers like Ferhat, Team Chameleons, Jermaine, Edward Van Gils and Ahmed, they’re pushing the sport into new spaces,
pushing the boundaries, and it makes you say, “You know what?
I want to be part of this scene.” It’s made me realise why I started
The Last Stand in the first place. It’s to bring joy back to people’s life. You don’t need to be something special, but you can become special on the pitch. That’s the magic of street football. For the players.