Freestyle football: There’s no future for us in Pakistan, says Usman

Published: September 15, 2012
Usman, whose strengths lie in his upper-body moves, will be the second Pakistani to make it to the finals. PHOTO: RED BULL

Usman, whose strengths lie in his upper-body moves, will be the second Pakistani to make it to the finals. PHOTO: RED BULL


Usman Tareen is just an A-level student but tomorrow he leaves for Italy where he will be Pakistan’s sole representative in the Street Style World Finals, earning his right to be there after beating participants from all over the country.

Freestyle football is a unique sport that has started gaining popularity in Pakistan over the past couple of years. The competition saw participants from places like Peshawar and Quetta flying in for the qualifiers that took place in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. While Tareen acknowledged that it was very difficult for players from Pakistan to match international levels, he was happy just to be there.

“It’s the proudest moment of my life; a dream come true for me,” Tareen told The Express Tribune. “Now that I have a chance, I am going to give it my all and make sure I do well for my country. We have a community of freestylers and we get together to practice and compete. But because of our studies and parental pressure, we are not able to practice regularly. Freestyling is an art that requires hours and hours of practice to perfect and this is something we can’t do because of our academic commitments.”

The 18-year-old started freestyling after watching Cristiano Ronaldo’s videos.

“Ronaldo’s the reason behind me taking up freestyling. I used to watch him perform for hours and then tried to repeat the amazing things he did.”

Inspiration  was the easiest step, the road to Italy was the hardest. Tareen cited lack of support from local clubs and organisations and how his parents oppose his dream of becoming a freestyler.

“Pakistani parents want their kids to become engineers and doctors only. Anything different is not considered a career option at all. Like others, even my parents want me to become an engineer or a doctor. Freestyling for me, unfortunately, is not an option.”

Despite the obstacles, Tareen is upbeat about his chances and is confident of making an impression in the September 20-22 event which will see 80 participants from all over the world.

“In the end, I’d like to tell all freestylers here in Pakistan not to give up on their dreams. There will be difficulties but the important thing is to follow your dreams.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Zeta
    Sep 15, 2012 - 2:52AM

    Good luck mate


  • Zalim Singh
    Sep 15, 2012 - 6:44AM

    he wants to settle in west.


  • afnan
    Sep 15, 2012 - 12:13PM

    “ronaldo is in my inspiration”
    this kid needs to see ronaldinho in action then lol


  • Fawad
    Sep 15, 2012 - 3:50PM

    ok then you must leave Pakistan!!


  • yaseen khan
    Sep 15, 2012 - 4:00PM

    this man will represent pakistan one day


  • Jawad
    Sep 15, 2012 - 4:16PM

    Why should he? Just because you didnt get to live your dreams doesnt mean any body else shouldnt. Bro this is the fault with us Pakistanis. We arent supportive of anything just critic. Recommend

  • Sajjad
    Sep 15, 2012 - 4:19PM

    This interview should have been taken after the kid scored something big in the contest!


  • Nav
    Sep 15, 2012 - 4:42PM

    afnan, no – ronaldinho needs to see this kid in action.


  • Cyrus
    Sep 15, 2012 - 5:46PM

    Nav, don’t exaggerate.


  • Ammarttitude
    Sep 15, 2012 - 6:36PM

    I’m a HUGE foOtball fan as well, and i’ve been playing now for 6 years now, and all i can say is: ” GoOoOoOo Usman, and win the World Free-Style Championship for Pakistan and dedicate it to the Pakistanis .. “



  • Anosh
    Sep 15, 2012 - 7:28PM

    @Cyrus & @afnan:

    The freestyle Usman can do, none of the footballers can do that, if you don’t believe me you can go to Usman’s youtube channel (, and this is his latest video (


  • raja
    Sep 15, 2012 - 9:24PM

    I can do more then him but i am studying in govt school which has no lights, no tables. we sit on carpet. i also love to play football but no one captured my skills. :(


  • Uzair
    Sep 16, 2012 - 2:05AM

    bro never say you can do more than him because im pretty sure youre not that good. watch the videos first.


  • indiantroll
    Sep 16, 2012 - 12:42PM

    Abbas Farid, British Pakistani, Won the Nike UK freestyle challenge out of 30,000 people. One of the best known faces in freestyle football….Recommend

  • abs
    Sep 17, 2012 - 1:58PM

    Good luck, hard work always pays off one way or the other


  • K
    Sep 17, 2012 - 5:28PM

    Free styling is as big in the UK as walking upside down !

    Its good to watch but seriouslym, you cant earn a living by it |!


  • asdgjh
    Sep 17, 2012 - 6:48PM

    There’s also no future in Pakistan for people who can say “She sells sea shells on the sea shore” really, really fast. Yes, I am one of these people and I am getting no support from the government, sponsors or my parents.


  • fareed
    Sep 18, 2012 - 1:28PM

    I had seen final in Lahore & he is the best to represent Pakistan……….Gud lUck UsSi


  • A.Khan
    Sep 18, 2012 - 2:11PM

    amazing news, I did not know if someone was having this skill at all in Pakistan. My best wishes to him.


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