Bola is a CLICKON original documentary about LA’s best street soccer team. Comprised of freestylers and street soccer players from around the globe (primarily Latin America), this seemingly disparate group of athletes has one thing in common: their dedication to bola. Both the title of the film and the name of their team, bola is more than the Spanish word for ball; it’s a lifestyle.
It’s not about a physical soccer ball, it’s what the ball has brought them: the sense of community, the brotherhood, the family, the journeys, the highs, the lows, and everything in between.
I went through hard times where I decided I wanted to quit. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. But at the end of the day, when I saw the ball lying down there..it’s freestyle. This is what I love to do.
Alex Mendoza, US national freestyle champion
They travel the world and work with the top brands in sports, but at the end of the day, their loyalty to one another is the foundation upon which everything is built.
Win or lose, they’re a family at the end of the day. They were friends first and a team after, and that’s what allows them to excel on the court, to function as a cohesive unit; a single entity rather than a collection of individuals.
Each member of bola is grateful to have grown up playing street soccer. Not because they got more touches on the ball or became technically superior players, but for the lessons and values that can be extrapolated and applied to everyday life.
Street soccer is a rough sport. Miles, sometimes worlds away from the manicured pitches 11 v 11 football, street soccer is a gritty endeavor based on respect. There’s no ref out there calling fouls. There’s an unspoken but universally understood code. Violate it, and it might come to blows.
When bola goes to a corner of LA that’s another team’s home court, they’re not just going there to win. They’re going there to win the right way.