May 21, 2019

#WePlayStrong, UEFA’s women’s football campaign, has entered into a unique partnership with the World Freestyle Football Association to help celebrate its first-ever Women’s European Freestyle Championships – which takes place on the eve of the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final between Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais in Budapest on May 18.

Liv Cooke, former world freestyle champion and #WePlayStrong Ambassador, will be the head judge for the inaugural competition, which takes place in the iconic Cinema Hall, Budapest, featuring some of the continent’s most talented female freestylers. 

As well as sharing content, #WePlayStrong will help raise awareness of the first-ever European freestyle championships dedicated to women. It means fans across the continent will experience the best of European football and freestyling within 24 hours in the Hungarian capital.

It 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. 

With the biggest names in women’s football due to shine in the 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.

The freestyle final will take place on the 17th of May and include the most talented tricksters from across the continent including Dutch teenage sensations Laura Dekker and Jasmijn Janssen and 16-year-old Lucie Quinton from France.

Liv Cooke, four-time freestyle world record holder: “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 next weekend 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.”

Dan Wood, WFFA Co-founder and Head of Global Partnerships: “We are proud to be hosting the first-ever WFFA European Freestyle Football Championships in Budapest and even more so now that we have the support of the ground-breaking #WePlayStrong campaign.

“The UEFA Women’s Champions League Final is an event that will attract global interest and we wanted to give football fans the opportunity to experience the skill and dedication of our female freestylers. After discussions with the #WePlayStrong team it made perfect sense to work closer together to make the respective finals a celebration of togetherness, confidence and inspirational skill.

“I’m sure fans of football and freestyle will be thrilled to experience two very different events brought together by a mutual admiration of talent and ambition.”

Roman Putsch, UEFA Head of Marketing Activities: “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 WFFA Women’s European Freestyle Championships will be streamed live on the Official Facebook page.

Finalist profiles

Laura Dekker, 18, Buren, Netherlands
Laura 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, 23, London, UK 
Aguska 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, 25, Bratislava, Slovakia
The most experienced competitor on the stage, Lucia has finished as vice-champion in almost every competition since 2012. 

Lucie Quinton, 16, Nantes, France
Lucie, at just 16, is the youngest of all competitors and she has burst into the international freestyle circuit in 2019. This will be her first live competitive event.

Anastasia Bagaglini, 17, Lazio, Italy
Anastasia is a 17-year-old who 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, 18, Apeldoorn, Netherlands
Jasmijn has represented Netherlands in the World Championships for the last two years and brings a stylish all-round set of skills to the stage. 

Yoanna Dallier, 19, Foix, France
Yoanna is consistent, stylish and mixes up all aspects of freestyle allowing her to respond to almost any other athlete in battle.

Kalina Matysiak, Katowice, Poland
Kalina won the 2018 Female World Masters in Tokyo and has been one of the strongest athletes in the female scene for many years. 

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