Norwegian uses his head to wow locals

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 June, 2010, 12:00am

Anders Solum (pictured) tours the world as an 'international freestyle football master' who can hold, control and juggle a ball on his head with rare dexterity. Having wowed youngsters with his skills in Happy Valley on Wednesday, he's planning to draw more 'waahs' from 80 local underprivileged teenagers today and tomorrow at Tuen Mun Town Plaza.

But the 27-year-old Norwegian said yesterday his path from first playing the Beautiful Game at three to performing only 'freestyle' footie tricks in Hong Kong has not been easy. He said he only started taking his hobby seriously when he saw a freestyle soccer video on the internet in 2006, and then practised his new skills for four hours a day, six days a week.

His juggling antics irritated his teammates and coach, and they parted ways, Solum said, after balancing a ball for a rather long time on his cheek.

But football is not just about victory, said Solum, who in April beat 59 contestants to win this year's Red Bull Street Style tournament in Cape Town. 'It's about me doing whatever I want with the football and having fun.

'Teamwork is the key in normal football,' he said. 'Sometimes even if you play great, your team can still lose. I guess freestyle fits me more.'

He won't be glued to the World Cup telly, either. 'I used to watch five matches a week, but now I'll probably just catch the important games,' he said.

We don't blame him - Norway isn't playing in this year's tournament. But he will cheer for his favourite teams, Italy and Argentina. On your head, son.