Unless you’ve kept yourself completely hidden from any sort of media over the past few weeks, you already know the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) is poised to compete in their fifth FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer match on Sunday, July 7, 2019. After coming away with the World Cup title in three of their previous four finals (1991, 1999, and 2015), as well as winning multiple Olympic medals, the women of the USWNT stand as an icon of the sport for many, particularly young girls who are inspired by their incredible athleticism and fighting spirits. Even as the roster has changed over the years, retired players have been replaced by equally talented new players, many of whom were inspired by their predecessors as young girls themselves. It’s with all of these young girls in mind, the ones who aspire to greatness in the sport, that we want to offer today’s amazing Share Saturdays video.
Lisa Zimouche, also known as Lisafreestyle, is a 20-year old freestyle soccer player from Paris, France. She began playing soccer as a young girl, then at the age of 10, she developed a passion for street ball, freestyle soccer, and “panna,” a Dutch term for a one-on-one game where one opponent has to kick the soccer ball through another opponent’s legs without being blocked. She became so good at panna, also called “nutmegging,” she joined the Street Style Society, known as S3 as a teenager. Finally, in 2014, she decided to leave the world of organized soccer, a more obvious path to athletic glory, and focus on aspects of the sport that truly made her happy.
By this time, Lisa had already begun taking her skills to the streets of Paris and sharing videos of herself performing tricks and “panna’ing” over-confident onlookers who thought they might just be able to take her. Needless to say, those challengers rarely succeeded – even when Lisa was in high heels. According to a 2019 ESPN article, after being named the Female Panna World Champion in 2015, Lisa caught the eye of the international soccer community and went on to accept endorsements from major brands.
Today, Lisa is an international sensation with more than three million Instagram and Facebook followers and travels the world performing in freestyle and panna competitions, often against men who don’t stand a chance against this 5’3″ soccer phenom.
While Lisa has chosen not to play on a team and will not hold a World Cup trophy, she is an inspiration to any child who falls in love with a sport. Her devotion to finding happiness in her chosen sport, even if it means not following a prescribed path, makes her a role model for millions – from the little girls who dream of big glory on the soccer field, to adults who are striving to follow their own dreams.
Today’s Share Saturdays video shows Lisa in a hilarious set-up against a panel of unwitting professional men’s soccer players who think she is merely an assistant wanting to learn a few tricks. As a quick word of warning, the video is subtitled and there is a teeny bit of mild language spelled out on the screen, but if you’re not offended, it’s worth it! You’ll see as Lisa unleashes her phenomenal skills on these poor, unsuspecting players and be reminded that you should never judge a book by its cover.
In the meantime, we want to wish the USWNT all the best as they take on Netherlands in tomorrow’s World Cup final. Regardless of the outcome, these women are already winners in our eyes!
For more fun videos like this one, be sure to check out our entire Share Saturdays series – only on Richmond Mom!