The bright lights and mega contracts of professional football seem like a million miles away from the street football culture of the French public housing blocks. Football feeds off and fuels an entire culture and lifestyle that we are all part of. Our rituals take place everyday on concrete, grass and dirt pitches of all shapes and sizes in urban areas around the world.
Street football that comes out of the public housing blocks of French suburbs, known as les benlieues - has produced some of the biggest footballing stars in the world. Most recently included are Riyad Mahrez, Ousmane Dembélé, and Serge Aurier all of whom make cameo appearances in a new documentary about this particular street football scene and it's impact on the global game.
The project is produced by Paris-based creative agency Yard, with the help and guidance of Nike, Concrete Football ( or Ballon Sur Bitume ) is now available on Netflix worldwide. It is the latest example of agencies and brands creating niche documentary content that belongs next to traditionally produced films.
More of this please, street football is the generator of the greatest footballers in the world. From Neymar, Messi, and Ronaldo; you can trace their creativity and talent to playing in the street in their neighborhoods.
“Nike Football backed the documentary because they’re very active in the street football scene, and a lot of their athletes came from this movement” says Yard cofounder Tom Brunet. “Dembélé, Mahrez, (Kylian) Mbappé, these guys all got their start playing on asphalt before they took to the grass for pro teams.”
Check it out and spread the word!