Street footballers from across Europe take to the field again in Manchester
The European Street Football Festival returned to Manchester with the goal of inspiring positive change in the lives of players who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion.
Using the Street Football Association’s unique approach, the festival was a three day mix of life skills workshops and a street football tournament. Sessions were designed to build players’ confidence and equip them with crucial life skills like leadership, teamwork and positivity.
Outside of skills workshops, the group took a tour of Old Trafford, one of the world’s most famous stadiums. They also visited the National Football Museum, where they learned about the history of the beautiful game.
As part of The Street Football Association’s work around positive self-image and identity, a professional photographer took ‘hero portraits’ of all players wearing their national team’s kit.
Participants then had a sneak peek of the Peninsula Stadium – the new home of Salford City FC who are partly owned by players from Manchester United’s legendary Class of ’92 Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt.
The festival ended with an electrifying street football tournament at Salford Sports Village, with some silky skills on display from all teams.
Reigning champs from 2016 Portugal ran out impressive winners of the men’s tournament while England also retained the women’s title.
“The past few days have been an eye-opener – it’s showed me how different countries engage in football as a whole,” says Street Football Team England player Michael.
“What the Street Football Association is doing is amazing. They’ve brought together people from across the UK, Portugal and the Netherlands.”