Fagerli has been a major part of sports For more than 13 years, thanks to his hard work and dedication, he has won eight world championships.
The 25-year-old Norwegian hopes to win his ninth title in 2022 Red Bull Street Style The World Final to be held on October 8 in Pula, Croatia.
He did not make the trip alone. Along with his brother, Brynjar, Fagerlis rose to the top of the sport.
It started in May 2009 when Erlind and Berengar were 11 and 14 years old, they turned to YouTube for their entertainment. They found free football videos and immediately fell in love with the sport.
“It was like something clicked inside of us because we always wanted to do something special,” Erlind told CNN Sport.
Inspired by what they saw, the Vagerly brothers followed their desire to try something new and grabbed the closest football to start training. Stemming from an inherent admiration for football, the transition to freestyle was easy for Erlind. He plays regularly and freely for a few years before doing his best for freestyle football.
After just seven years of involvement in the sport, Fagerley went on to win his first world title at the 2016 Superball Championship; But his most memorable win didn’t come until Superball 2018, when he won for the second time.
“It’s really something special to be able to do it again and prove that you’re not just a freestyle taker, but that you’re here for the long haul,” he said.
Despite his repeated successes, Fagerley expressed his goal not only to win trophies, but “his biggest goal always is to try to get better at freestyle and explore how good we can be.”
To push himself to new heights, Fagerley trains at least once a day, spending the first 10 minutes doing nothing but thinking: “During those 10 minutes, you’ve activated your mind, maybe you can figure something out during the session.”
This is a vital time that helps his visualization of tricks and allows him to create routines sophisticated enough to win back-to-back world titles, as he did in Red Bull Street Style 2020 and 2021, followed by the 2021 Superball Championship.
Erlend and Brynjar both started their free football trips on the same day, and the duo never stopped training together.
Throughout their careers, they have been partners and rivals, and of course, freestyle football has become something that binds the two brothers together.
“It was a sister project for us to explore our limits in freestyle, and we’ve been doing it for over 13 years now,” Erlind explained. “I don’t even know if I would start even if he wasn’t around… We always supported each other, even though we were competitors too, so it was very important to me.”
However, it wasn’t always easy for Erlind to have an older brother pave the way. There have also been times of frustration.
“At the start of the freestyle, Branegar was older and taller, and he was getting better a lot faster than me…so I was actually about to quit at that moment.”
Fagerly feeling like he was falling behind, he did the only thing he could do: He trained.
After setting up his camera, he successfully performed “alternative Mitch around the world” for the first time. The trick consists of kicking the ball in the air twice while hitting both legs around the ball, all while in the air.
Realizing that he had completed the feat that would become essential to his prosperous free journey, Fagerly was overwhelmed with emotion as he collapsed into tears of joy.
From that point onwards, Vagerly was progressing upwards. The Norwegian is not only at the top of his game, but at the top of the sport, which puts him in a position where other competitors look to him for guidance and inspiration – and he has noted his impact on freestyle football.
There are three main forms of this sport: “upper” (performing tricks with your upper body), “lower” (doing tricks with your lower body) and sitting (doing some tricks while sitting).
Prior to Fagerley’s contribution to freestyle, these were mainly divided into separate actions. However, in 2014, Fagerley thought of something new. “It kind of introduced transitions as well, which is the way you get in between these parts, so I think one of the effects for me is that we can combine everything into one flow.”
Being able to influence how the sport performs is a big part of what makes freestyle swimming fun for Fagerley. Seeing youngsters perform his tricks and concepts is a “good feeling,” because he hopes they can use it as inspiration to find their own path.
Fagerley has been traveling the world winning world class championships since 2016, and doesn’t know when he will stop, but his eyes are on the 2022 Red Bull Street Style Championship.
If Vagerley wins in the upcoming event, he will be the first athlete to win three consecutive Red Bull Street Style titles.
“Anything can happen, and it’s always interesting how well the other players are also doing well because there are so many very promising new players…but, of course, my goal is to outperform last year’s performance.”