Laura Biondo: Most touches of a football with the head in a minute
Laura Biondo: Most football touches with the head in one minute
This Venezuelan football freestyle star may only be in her mid-30s, but she is already an inspiration to many young people around the world.
She holds multiple world records, has performed for Cirque du Soleil, rallies for greater women’s participation in football, and has partnered with numerous major brands to bring this increasingly popular discipline to the masses. Laura Biondo is the epitome of what perseverance and hard work can bring when you put your heart, mind and soul into it.
Although Laura has been involved with football since she was 10 years old, she was inspired to pursue the sport more seriously after seeing her brother, Pier Biondo, play.
He has been the main source of motivation for her.
Growing up together, the Biondo siblings spent a lot of time watching the famous Nike Joga Bonito commercials and other videos of freestylers to learn the art.
Seeing fellow Latin American freestylers, such as Charly Iacono from Argentina and Boyka Ortiz from Colombia, excel added further fuel to the fire.
The beginning of the journey
Although born in Venezuela, Laura has lived much of her life in the USA and Italy.
She earned her football stripes with the Schulz Academy in Boca Raton, Florida, and also played professionally for Italy’s major soccer league. Years of practice after school earned her an invitation to perform live and soon after to compete in international events and competitions.
As there were only five girls performing freestyle around the world at the time, she would initially compete mainly against boys. She said, “It felt special to know that it all depended on me, on how many hours of work I put into honing my skills.”
Football has been a part of Laura’s life for over two decade now but there have been many challenges along the way.
She endured numerous injuries while rising to the top of her industry, but one particular mishap is what changed the course of her career, leading to her renown as a freestyler today. Laura was unable to play on the pitch during her teens due to a knee injury, but that did nothing to detract from her commitment to the sport. On the sidelines, while watching others play, she took this opportunity to learn how to juggle and, over time, master many other tricks with the ball.
Fifteen years ago, when Laura decided to go professional, women’s football (let alone women’s freestyle football) was still widely considered an amateur sport and didn’t receive anywhere near as much attention (nor the funding or opportunities) as men’s soccer.
Since then, she has made it a personal mission to increase female visibility and involvement in freestyle football.
“Seeing women travel the world today to compete in various championships and getting the respect and recognition they deserve, makes me very happy,” she said.
Laura has achieved multiple international titles in her career so far and is the first and only Latin American to be crowned world champion and also the best ranked Latin American in the history of freestyle.
She often expresses her utmost pride in representing Venezuela, Latin America, and the entire American continent and highlighting the region’s freestyle ability.
Laura has bagged multiple medals from competing in freestyle competitions.
Moreover, well-known for her super skills, Laura also became one of the ambassadors of Guinness World Records Day 2021, which celebrated the theme of incredible abilities. On that occasion, the athlete broke two records:
- Most sit-down football crossovers in 30 seconds (female) – 62
- Most double around the world ball control tricks in one minute (female) - 24
Fantastic Football Freestyle records
Laura has worked on creative campaigns with some of the world’s biggest brands including UEFA, FIFA, Sony, Ford, Google and more.
She even had the chance to tour for four years with Cirque du Soleil, appearing on the critically acclaimed show Luzia (alongside fellow freestyler Abou Traore) after her talent was spotted at the 2014 Red Bull Street Style World Championship.
Her involvement with the Mexican-themed show demonstrates how freestyle serves as a link between athletics and art.
Laura revealed: “It was definitely a life-changing opportunity, not only as an athlete and artist but also on a personal level. You really put yourself out of your comfort zone and push your limits”.
Adamant that she wanted to give something back to the sport that has transformed her life, Laura has been overseeing the development of female athletes as the WFFA’s Head of Women’s Division.
This role allows her to support and champion female freestylers who enter the industry and ensure they have what they need to succeed within this sport.
Noting how far things have come since she started out, Laura said, “I am very proud of the [WFFA] team because they have been very receptive and open to understanding the importance of taking care of equality.”
In addition to her ball skills, Laura speaks four languages – Spanish, English, Italian and French – and is also very passionate about diet and wellness.
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Of course, she’s also no stranger to smashing world records either. While setting records may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many, Laura has been proving her football skills are superlative since 2011.
As of August 2023, she has set a total of 15 records; she currently holds seven titles, having bettered her own mark on several occasions:
- Most football touches with the feet on a treadmill in one minute (female)
- Most football touches with the head in one minute (female)
- Most football (soccer) "clipper" tricks performed in one minute (female)
- Most sit down football crossovers in 30 seconds (female)
- Most football (soccer) head rolls in 30 seconds
- Most ''around the world'' ball control tricks in one minute (female)
- Most double 'around the world' ball control tricks in one minute (female)
Over the years, some of Laura’s titles have been claimed by others, but she is unusually upbeat about this: “It makes me so happy to know that other girls have beaten my record.
I’ll be thrilled to move forward if life presents me with any other chances to break a world record, but I also hope to see more female freestylers succeed in this endeavour.
I will be happy to assist them in making that happen if I can.”
When asked to offer some advice to other aspiring freestylers, Laura told Guinness World Records:
“Patience is the key. Be consistent and disciplined and you will see the results. It’s a process that takes time. It won’t magically happen overnight but if you put in all your hard work, you will reach your end goal soon."
She continued: “All of my accomplishments serve a purpose if they mean something to people and if they inspire and motivate them to realize their [own] dreams.”
Laura Biondo is a prime example of a remarkable athlete who, not only through competitive success but also positive action, has inspired millions, wowed audiences and disproven the antiquated belief that sport – and particularly, football – isn’t for girls.
Her willingness to push the limits, both in the world of record-breaking and beyond, has already led to substantial changes in freestyle football as well as sport more generally. Nothing is going to come between this soccer virtuosa and her goals.