Strip shirt challenge: Meet Raquel Benetti - The freestyler behind the quarantine keepie-uppie craze (VIDEO)
At first footballers were juggling toilet roll and teabags in quarantine, but Brazilian freestyler Raquel Benetti has introduced a more eye-catching home challenge by stripping off her top while showcasing her football skills.
The 29-year-old football trickster from Sao Paulo invented the 'strip-shirt challenge' which requires a player to juggle the ball onto their head and remove their jersey without displacing it.
Benetti uploaded the video to her 1.2 million Instagram followers earlier this month when the world was just about entering into Covid-19 quarantine and unsurprisingly became a hit.
“Challenge for you, tag someone that you are SURE can or cannot,” Benetti captioned the video with the hashtags #stripshirtchallenge and a cheeky “I doubt”.
One player to catch some inspiration from the Brazilian trick queen was Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, who demonstrated his unlikely skills by executing a perfect shirt removal routine in his back garden while "entertaining the kids."
Nicknamed "musa das embaixadinhas" or “the muse of the freestylers” in English, Benetti is using her keepie-uppie credentials to inspire others into unorthodox home workouts, such as on the balcony or on the beach, where she can be seen bouncing the ball off the backside of fellow embaixadinhas.
Of all the tedious workouts to surface on Instagram during the Covid-19 epidemic, we’re sure Benetti has invented the most aesthetically pleasing routine you're likely to find.
Among her goals in the freestyle industry, Benetti says she intends to enter the Guinness Book of Records for the 55,197 uninterrupted touches of the ball that dates back 22 years to Milene Domingues’ effort in 1997.
Benetti began as a freestyler at the age of eight and has since competed in the International Freestyle Football Federation World Cup representing her home nation.
Professionally, Benetti also played for hometown team Sport Club Corinthians Paulista in the female U20s team for three years.
Benetti could perhaps inspire former Corinthians players Ronaldo or Carlos Tevez to do the same challenge, but we’re not sure it will attract the same level of attention.