According to index.hu, Mátyás “Kvartam” Kvárta showed up in 2011, when he won his first national competition and then presented the best trick of the year at an international tournament. He has not stopped ever since: last year, he won the Play Like Pelé competition while this year, he finished in second place at the Superball, which is essentially the world championship of freestyle football.
Freestyle football is a relatively new sport, it started to form in the 1990s. Of course, juggling with a ball is not a new phenomenon but the first official video was shared in 2002 by Soufiane Touzane.
It slowly became an independent sport and, even though it is not incredibly popular in Hungary, we do have some outstanding athletes – just think about four-time World Champion Kitti Szász. And Mátyás Kvárta is slowly catching up as well.
At the Superball, he stood out in the so-called best combination category, which surprised even him. “I hoped to finish in the top field but I did not think that the silver medal could be mine”.
The 26-year-old Kvárta never wanted to be a professional. He works as a photographer, freestyle football is ‘only’ a hobby for him.
“I originally started practising tricks due to Ronaldinho. I saw him on the television and I tried to copy him.
I used to play football but only with my friends. However, being a kid, I wanted to stand out a bit. So, I kept on practising until I learned more and more advanced tricks.”
The hard work paid off quickly. The highlight of his career is probably when he won the Play Like Pelé competition and received the prize from the icon himself.
Even though freestyle football is highly valued in France and Brazil, for instance, Hungarians mostly think of it as a form of art and good performance is not necessarily important.
“Sometimes even I cannot decide if it is a sport or a form of art. I know many guys who even stopped studying in order to excel, but it is very hard to make a living out of this in a country where people are not that receptive to it.”
Mátyás is a regular jury at Hungarian competitions and is constantly working on new tricks. He is especially proud of the Kvartam Move:
A bejegyzés megtekintése az Instagramon
“Many freestyle footballers train with a complete crew, while I learned everything in an autodidactic way. I might enter further competitions in the future but, now that I am working, it is not my main priority. We will see! :)”
Featured image: www.facebook.com/KvártaKvartamMátyás (Gyula Penzer)