It was the Freestyle Motocross version of France versus Spain just before the start of the European soccer championship this week when FMX aces David Rinaldo of France and Spain’s Dany Torres got together for a bit of spectacular midair soccer action. Both will be going all out to win glory for themselves and their respective nations on June 24th at the same venue at the 15th anniversary of the Red Bull X-Fighters in Madrid.
The eyes of the sports world will be turned to France starting on Friday for the month-long European soccer championship. The quadrennial tournament capturing the imagination in countries across Europe provided inspiration for two of the world’s best FMX riders to try to link the two popular but extremely different sports. David Rinaldo of France and Spain’s ace Dany Torres used the occasion of the looming tournament to demonstrate their own take of how “soccer meets FMX” at the famous Las Ventas bullfighting ring in the heart of Madrid. Rinaldo, wearing the soccer jersey that Euro hosts France will be wearing, and Torres, clad in the colors of defending champion Spain, kicked a soccer ball around in midair from their bikes during an extraordinary and never-been-seen before exhibition of their jumping skills in the sport where riders leap with their bikes up to 15 meters high and 30 meters in distance.
Their incredible show of their midair soccer skills took place in the same stadium that will be the stage for the 15th anniversary of the Red Bull X-Fighters in Madrid on June 24. For their exhibition, a small soccer field was set up on the floor of the bullfighting ring with two ramps and one dirt pile for their landings. After a brief warm-up on the unusual track, the two FMX riders tried out their stylish tricks while kicking the soccer balls back and forth in midair.
“It was a lot of fun and kind of thrilling at the same time,” said Rinaldo, who like Torres has long been an enthusiastic soccer player and is considered to be a genuine expert in Street Style soccer. But Torres was equally as impressive with his midair ball handling skills. “I’ll be looking to get my third victory here at Las Ventas and hope that Spain will be getting its third title at the European championship in France. Torres will be going all out to beat Rinaldo as well as his compatriot Tom Pagès, who will be attempting to win the event in Madrid for a record fourth straight year.
Action: Andreas Schaad/Red Bull Content Pool
Arena overview: Aitor Matauco / Red Bull Content Pool