Boyka Ortiz and how he took freestyle football to another level: his experience in the Qatar 2022 draw | Colombians Abroad


Being among the best in the world, holding 10 consecutive national championships, being world runner-up in Prague, in 2018, third in the Street Style World Championship, in 2021 in Spain, international judge of different tournaments, are enough arguments to affirm that Sebastián Boyka Ortiz He has made history at a national and international level, with the ‘freestyle’, and even better, being able to say that he is Colombian, gives him an extra plus of pride.

More than half of his life, this young man from Antioquia, 27 years old and a native of Comuna 15 of Guayabal, Medellín, has dedicated it to this sport, which, little by little, has made a place for itself among other disciplines of more history or recognition. And it is that, since its inception, that has always been his great objective: to make freestyle football popular, to demonstrate everything that can be achieved with it and to shine in all latitudes.

And he was getting it. With dedication, work, discipline, effort, professionalism, humility and whatever quality they want to add, she has made huge strides. It is enough to bring up what he recently achieved, being invited by FIFA to the draw for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, as the only Colombian and Latin American, which took place on April 1.

As he himself says, “very few people can tell” and how right he is. It was easy? Not at all. Product of good work? Sure. Going for more? Of course. His dreams have no ceiling, that is very clear, and “after having opened this door”, he will continue straight and his ambitions have increased, as he told Gol Caracol, in an exclusive interview.

How was the experience of having been in an event of this magnitude?
“We were there a week before the presentation and there were training days from 10 in the morning to 7 at night, rehearsing a lot because although we already knew each other from previous competitions, we were all from different continents. Being there was crazy. There was a great logistics, the attention was phenomenal and the preparation was done responsibly.”

Did you imagine something like this?
“The experience as such of all these years that one has been working and training daily, around 14 years in this sport, almost half a life, is a reward to be in an event like this, which together with the Super Bowl can being the first or second most important in the sports world, so you can imagine how important it was to be there.”

Was it the best event you’ve ever been to?
“Yes, in terms of performance and presentation, because if we talk about championships it is different, in a competitive way and with some stress, while in this World Cup event, I went to enjoy it and enjoy it, always with commitment. In reality, tension or nerves were not felt as much because I took it as a special show, that I enjoyed the moment.”

When you heard about this invitation, what did you think?
“It was something that took me by surprise and that I did not have on my list, but the universe opens doors for you that, in reality, are a reward for so much work. In addition, it was a way to get out of the comfort zone, because one compete and represent the country, being national and world champion, but one seeks to do something more with this sport, teaching and contributing.”

Did you feel privileged?
“I think that this experience that I had, in a FIFA draw, very few people can tell about it, being invited, the only Colombian and Latin American, in short, it is a ‘boom’, something that I never thought, but it gives you the possibility of dreaming of being in a closure. The truth is, right now, I’m thinking of being there, with the hope that they’ll call me again.”

Since that “door was opened”, now, what other types of events would you like to be in?
“In equal or more important events. One is an athlete and, fortunately, this discipline is also an art, so they consider you an artist, so I would seek a balance where you compete and, on an artistic level, be on the best stages with famous artists, Colombians , like Maluma or JBalvin, something crazy. I think sports can be taken to another level.”

On stage, how did you experience it?
“The work was done just as it was trained. It was, by far, 40 seconds, all at the same time, coordinated, the space, the movements, in short, everything was so calculated that any touch was measured and not a single touch could be put trick or extra touch. The choreographers who helped us were Russians, so they were perfectionists and wanted everything to go well.”

And as for feelings or sensations…
“Very calm; I did have a couple of minutes of anxiety, but, because of the competitions, one knows how to handle it; that happened because I already wanted to be on stage. We had practiced many times, so that was the key to not feeling so much nerves and more that four days before we had seen and been there, so what we did was like a review of the previous rehearsals.”

How was the after?
“Everyone screaming and crazy because it came out full, it was as if the team had won (laughs). We dedicated so much time to training, to everything going perfect, that when we saw the result, it was celebrated as a goal in the last minute. (laughs). I felt comfortable, the task was done, wanting to give more. Hopefully we can be in another event of great importance.”

Among so many soccer stars, who did you meet?
“To several. Now, I couldn’t take photos because you couldn’t use cell phones, everything was very privatized, but I did come across Diego Forlán, Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero, Cafú, several soccer celebrities that, at the time, one saw on television, and it was something very cool, one already has the experience and in the trunk of memories (laughs), something very nice and special.”

Did they say anything to you, after they saw you do all those tricks with the ball?
“(Laughter) After the show, not because contact was difficult, but before the presentation, yes. In fact, I remember that it was in a rehearsal, where Cafu arrived, we talked a little, I realized that he already knew about freestyle, so it was cool that this discipline is becoming known and that footballers of that stature know and know what we do.”

One more step in your career, did the speech you gave when you just started change anything?
“The focus of the boys that we have been preparing is that they continue to enjoy playing soccer, which is the most important language in the world. The idea is that they learn to control a ball because soccer is forgetting about dribblers, about those with good technique , those who have good foundations; the message is, not only to the children, but also to the teams, technical directors and managers, who try to promote and massify an athlete well.”

Has that been a mistake in football?
“Sometimes they form people who only go up and down, run, push, fight and that’s it, forgetting the ‘Lucho’ Díaz or the Juan Fernando Quintero, footballers who bring joy to football with their good technique, then hand in hand you can do something about freestyle, compete, be professional, achieve presentations that you didn’t even think about doing; everything is possible as long as dedication and discipline are present.”

What is coming for 2022?
“This year we are still preparing. In fact, in August the world championships will take place, so we will continue to stand firm to represent Colombia in the best way, as we have always tried to do.”