G-CHECK #13

EDWARD VAN GILS

STREET FOOTBALL LEGEND AND FOUNDER OF STREETKINGS 

The G-Check series are our lighthearted conversations with friends from the industry. Original thinkers who share their passions and views with us. Next up is Edward van Gils, The Godfather of Street Football, three-time world champion and captain of the Ronaldinho Globe street team.

“Edward van Gils, 44, Zaandam, Founder of StreetKings. I started out as an eleven-a-side player, almost made it pro. Played in the national youth team and for several pro clubs. After a big mistake I made in life I ended up leaving the club and went back onto the streets. When the And1 mixtapes came out I converted those moves into street football and quickly made a name for myself. Now I’m the captain of the Ronaldinho Globe Street Team, a character in FIFA VOLTA as an end boss, founder of StreetKings, and a three-time world champion.”

Who or what inspires you right now?
Anything really. I’m like a sponge, so everything can inspire me. That’s why I love traveling, meeting new people, new cultures, sub-cultures, hearing new music, art.. Uurrrrthing.

What new skill would you like to pick up?
Developing vaccines. LOL.

What should we watch?
You should watch your own documentary while we have the time to reflect on our lives. Most likely not on Netflix yet, but I’m sure if you watch it, you can learn a lot from it. I know I did. But if you ask me what keeps me entertained at the moment and what I would recommend, it is The Queen’s Gambit.

What should we listen to?

If you know please tell me! I’m an old hip hop head, and slowly, due to aging, I lost connection with the underground scene and I’m not a fan of the “popular” hip hop of today.. But I don’t have enough knowledge to have an opinion on today’s music. To be honest, I love to listen to my 90s hip hop, R&B and slow jams… 

How did you get through 2020?
Oh man.. I’m still processing 2020 to be honest. So much shit apart from Covid-19 happened. I just numbed myself, closed my eyes and took it like a man. But like a lot of people it also brought me some good energy, because the family bond got closer. I also had the time to reflect on everything I’ve done within the last 20 years and the most important thing to me is that I realize what is important again.. And it ain’t money, succes or fame!

Describe your favorite (off-screen) activity?

Being with my family, walking the dog together on the beach with a clear sky, a little breeze and surrounded with all smiles and positive energy.  

Which artist (or athlete) should we keep an eye on?

Joshua Zirkzee from Parma Calcio. 

How are you going to own 2021?
In 2020 we had the time to prepare for 2021. A lot has been postponed, not cancelled. Due to having extra time we got bigger and better plans for our big partners and sponsors. So yea we ready! I can’t say much, but believe me, you will notice once life goes back to “normal”. As always, we either do it big or we don’t do it at all.. We will create another tsunami in the street football world with what we’ve got in the pipeline..

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Yes. In November 2020 after a huge event with Ronaldinho in our Kingsdome, I turned off the lights. Somehow, I also turned off the soundtrack of life. I became deaf.. After a couple of days it changed into Tinnitus. Tinnitus totally changed my life. The first couple of months it made me go insane. I wanted to give up, but my family and loved ones didn’t allow me to and together we accepted my new life with my condition. Funny enough I’m happier now then I was before my high-tone pitch in both my ears. What i’m trying to say with this is that we can overcome anything in life if we accept our situation. You can’t fight and/or win everything in life. Sometimes – just sometimes – you have to accept the situation and continue life as it is. Enjoy the little things in life.. Even though it’s just listening to silence, ’cause even that is blessing! 

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