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Watch the action from the Street Style qualifier

Qualification battles set the bar high for Freestyle Football World Championship in London.

Kosuke Takahashi qualifies in style
Kosuke Takahashi qualifies in style© Samo Vidic/Red Bull Content Pool

Monday’s qualification for the UK’s first Red Bull Street Style World Final thrilled freestyle football fans and set up intense rivalries for the Finals on Tuesday, November 8, when the official men’s and women’s World Champions will be crowned.

The qualification round lit up the iconic Roundhouse in London, UK on Monday night, as global favourites from 40 nations went head-to-head to earn a spot in Tuesday’s Finals.

With the tournament sanctioned as the official World Championship of freestyle football, there was no holding back, and the most competitive line-up in the history of the tournament threw down Qualification battles that could have been Final rounds in previous editions. 

The advancement in overall skills, speed and showmanship was the talk of the crowd in the 360-degree venue, and decisions were difficult for the three-judge panels. Among the evening’s many highlights were split decisions in battles between the dynamic duo of Kosuke 'Ko-suke'Takahashi (winner, JPN) and Daniel 'Mikolaj' Mikolajek(POL); the young Scandinavians Emil Källdoff (winner, SWE) and Anders 'Borg' Petersen (DEN); and the technical wizards Anatoliy 'McPro' Yanchev (winner, RUS) and Carlos 'Charly' Alberto Iacono(ARG).

A high-energy showdown between Daniel Dennehy (winner, IRL) and Soufiane 'Bencok' El Marnissi (BEL) finished the evening on a high, as both continued to entertain the crowd even after their time was up, earning roars of approval. Win or lose, all of those split-decision standouts made it to the elite 16-man field of Tuesday’s Finals.

“Tuesday is going to be intense, for sure. Everyone here is really good, so you just have to make sure you know your best routines mentally and physically, and find your own rhythm,“ said Dennehy, who added: "But I also want make people smile and enjoy the show, so it’s like a mix of serious and also fun."

Women’s Qualifying action set up a classic rematch, as reigning World Final champion Mélody Donchet of France and the freestyler she dethroned, two-time titleholder Kitti Szász of Poland, advanced to go head-to-head in Tuesday’s Finals.

 

Men’s Top 16, Red Bull Street Style World Final 2016 Esteban Hernández Acosta (MEX) Fahed Hasan Saleh Abdulla Albreiki (UAE) Gunther Celli (ITA) Ricardo Chahini (BRA) Daniel Dennehy (IRL) Erlend Fagerli (NOR) Sven Fielitz (LUX) Carlos Alberto Iacono (ARG) Emil Källdoff (SWE) Jamie Knight (GBR) Soufiane El Marnissi (BEL) Daniel Mikolajek (POL)  Anders Petersen (DEN) Martin Schopf (AUT) Kosuke Takahashi (JPN) Anatoliy Yanchev (RUS)

Women’s Top 4, Red Bull Street Style World Final 2016 Mélody Donchet (FRA) Kalina Matysiak (POL) Aguska Mnich (POL) Kitti Szász (HUN)

Watch the Red Bull Street Style World Final – LIVE!

Presented with F3, the Freestyle Football Federation that is the governing body for the sport, Red Bull Street Style is the official World Championship of freestyle football – a global competition that aims to find the best overall player.

The Roundhouse doors open for Red Bull Street Style World Final on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

Tickets: Sky Tickets Broadcast: We will stream the entire competition LIVE on RedBullStreetStyle.com and on Red Bull TV. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. For a full list of supported devices visit this page.

Written by Oliver Schran