Iya Traoré and his brother Abou may be very popular Guineans football sensations, but it is not on the soccer field or surrounded by teammates that they sparkle: It is in the streets of the world where they turn football into urban art. They juggle like no one when they become one with their balls, fashioning day after day extraordinary figures that will arouse your stupefaction. They may not practice football inside stadiums, but they found an astonishing place where they could showcase their craving for this sport: between earth and sky.
Even though they regularly perform on the streets, they distinguish themselves largely from other street artists because they propose an activity that is still relatively unknown to the public by producing at every demonstration, a tender choreography of love where the ball is the protagonist.
Born in a small village in Guinea, Iya Traoré began juggling with peeled oranges from a young age and for hours just for fun, a little before developing a true passion for football and dreaming of becoming a professional.
In 2000, he leaves for Paris to pursue his studies and simultaneously joins the popular club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). However due to the hectic circumstances and his inability to juggle with these two aspects of his life, his contract with PSG ends sooner than he projected. But instead of seeing his dream crushing down before his eyes, he was quick to seize another opportunity that would make him part of the difference – For the good news, he obtained his degree!
A little over a decade later, the young is a world-class freestyle soccer player. The well-rounded ball has replaced the orange of his beginnings and the streets of Montmartre have replaced the dusty lands of Conakry. He holds the world record for most kick ups with a soccer ball and is constantly invited on TV shows to perform his bluffing tricks.
VIDEO (Peak of his demonstration at 7:30):
It is in the city of Paris that Abou usually performs for the pleasure of tourists and the luckiest passersby have the chance to attend the unexpectedly incredible 5-10 minutes shows of this talented freestyler. Dance and football being his favorite things, Abou is the definition of success because unlike most of us, he managed to turn his passions into profits by bringing the two together and captivate an audience. Abou always steps up his efforts to satisfy his international spectators who at first are raised by curiosity, only to be followed by admiration. While flashes of camera crackles from every corner, the ball begins its journey gently rocked by the freestyler’s feet, only to elevate itself in the air and become Abou’s one and only sun.