Niall Raben practices an akka at the Waag Court, the most central in Amsterdam. Niall plays non-league football on Saturdays as well as semi-professional futsal (hall football) on Fridays, but states he is most at home playing on the streets. He is known for his array of variations of the akka skill move. An akka is trick that comes from the Surinamese word meaning ‘hook’.
Louis De Visserplein in Osdorp, Amsterdam Nieuw-West. It is also known as Gregory van de Wiel kooi named after the Dutch international who grew up honing his skills on this court.
Moesi Rebel photographed near his home in Almere, north of Amsterdam. Rebel is considered a pioneer in Dutch street football for displaying his street-style skills in competitive futsal long before there was hype around the street game.
Niall Raben’s tattoos. The three X’s come from the city’s coat of arms and are accompanied by the motto representing the values of an Amsterdammer, ‘Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig, "Heroic, Steadfast, Compassionate".
Orry Promes photographed at his home court of Zaandamerplein in Amsterdam-West. Nicknamed ‘the solid rock’, Promes is a well-known street baller and futsal player. He is a member of the legendary Street Kings crew and Ronaldinho’s Globe Street Team. Coming from a Surinamese family he is the cousin of Sevilla player Quincy Promes and Liverpool player Georginio Wijnaldum.
Niall Raben cuts inside in a game at the Kings Dome in North West Zaandam, just North of Amsterdam. The Kings Dome is the world’s first indoor street football facility.
Founder of AKKA Magazine, Nitan Sing, in his home workspace in Diemen, Amsterdam.
An early AKKA tape of Soufiane Touzani, who is now a national star.
Shirt from an early Amsterdam street football tournament. Nitan Sing and several others involved in the formation of the early street football scene came from the Amsterdam Hip-Hop circuit. The result is visible in the style conscious nature of the street ballers; Edson Sabajo who was involved in this early tournament went on to found the street wear label, Patta.
Rashad Mokiem, a young baller on his local court in Amsterdam-Noord.
The official rules of Panna KO, nailed to a court on Hemonystraat in De Pijp, Amsterdam.
Nitan Sing oversees a training session of a youth football team in which his players practice their skills in a ‘Panna Knockout’ competition.
President Brandstraat in Amsterdam-Oost. This pleintje is also known as Nikeplein and Edgar Davids Plein and was featured as the Dutch court in the FIFA Street videogame franchise.
Elroy Castelen, Nealinho and Achie Tarhouchi are all Rotterdam-based ballers discovered by AKKA Magazine in the early two thousands. While Castelen has become a coach and Tarhouchi is now a member of the street team Los Barrenderos, Nealinho now suffers from MS putting his playing career on pause.
Wijkarena, Pieter van de Doesstraat, Balboaplein and Westzaanstraat courts. Each has a unique history with Wijkarena being the home court to the Street Kings for years and Balboaplein being the childhood court of national heroes such as Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard.
Randall Do Rosario photographed in South Rotterdam. Do Rosario, nicknamed the ‘ankle breaker’ because of his signature skill, was discovered in Rotterdam by Akka Magazine. Today he is a member of the Ronaldinho Globe Street Team as well as the Rotterdam-based freestyle and presenting team, Los Barrenderos.
Competitors go back to back at the start of a Panna match-up in Rosestraat, South Rotterdam.
Ike Neil photographed near his home in IJburg, Amsterdam-Oost. Neil plays for Amsterdam futsal club, ASV Lebo as well as the Dutch national team however it was on the streets where he learnt his craft.
Warung ‘Mini’ Surinamese Restaurant in De Pijp, Amsterdam. Surinamese restaurants were at the heart of the very early street football scene as they would sponsor and organise the first street football tournaments in Amsterdam.
Young Rotterdam baller Rachidsko takes a phonecall in the Surinamese restaurant ‘Surifood’. Winkelcentrum, Zuidplein, South Rotterdam.
Raschidsko holds his old trainers, torn and beaten from playing in the streets of South Rotterdam.
Zohair Arbib practices his signature ‘mousetrap’ at Weesperplein court in the city centre of Amsterdam. As well as being a specialist one-on-one panna player, Arbib studies I.T. at the HVA University that is situated directly behind the court.
Zohair Arbib. Weesperplein, Amsterdam.
Street football legend Edward ‘Edje’ Van Gils sizes up Ajax youth player, Julian Rijkhoff at the Kingsdome.
Nordin Stitou does his signature ‘Scorpian Akka’ at the Pyramide court in central Amsterdam. Stitou is also a member of the Street Kings crew.
Nordin Stitou, Pyramide, Central Amsterdam.
Boninplein in Amsterdam-Oost. In recent years this has become one of the most iconic courts in Amsterdam, as it is the home court to one of the world’s greatest street footballers, Ismail “Issy Hitman” Hamadoui. Here he developed his pioneering move, the ‘Akka 3000’.
Ismael “Issy Hitmain” Hamdoui photographed in front of his apartment building in Amsterdam-Zuid. Hamdoui has come a long way from Boninplein having starred in the FIFA Street Franchise at the age of 16, going on to play professional futsal at the highest level in Spain and now being a member of the Ronaldinho Global Street Team.
Ismael “Issy Hitmain” Hamdoui, Amsterdam-Zuid.
Local teenagers play on the courts in Zuiderpark in South Rotterdam.
Lenny Macnack cuts the hair of a young client in Pu-Ma hair studio, De Pijp, Amsterdam. Macnack was a talented field player who launched his career at Ajax, however it was the streets where he became known after winning the Nike Panna KO competition in 2005. Today he is a specialist celebrity barber known as ‘Lenny Razorsharp’, cutting the hair of professional players including Romelu Lukaku, Ryan Babel and Justin Kluivert.
Djuric ‘Dju Dju’ Ascension photographed at his home court in Gein, Amsterdam Zuid-Oost. As well as being a respected street baller and member of the Street Kings, he still plays professional football in Belgium and has represented the Dutch-Antilles national team, qualifying through his parents who are from Curacao.
A court on Dirk Vreekenstraat, next to the water in Eastern Docklands, Amsterdam.
Sharif Rodriguez photographed on Rosestrat in Rotterdam-Zuid. Rodriguez is one of the biggest talents in Dutch street football and plays regularly with the older legends in Amsterdam.
Local children play on a Cruyff court at the centre of a housing complex in Capelle aan den IJssel, a suburb of East Rotterdam.