To become a great footballer, it is no secret that you need to have passion, discipline, and determination. But the profession also requires a great deal of planning. This is especially true for football, one of the most competitive sports.
Less than one percent of the children who enter academies before the age of 9 will make it as a footballer. The odds of playing in the Premier League stand at a dismal 0.012 percent, even if you play organized youth football. So, in all likelihood, you will have to compete with millions of other young aspiring footballers to make it in the direction of your dreams!
So how do you ensure you are on the right path?
For starters, to stand out in the world of football, you need to be ambitious, knowledgeable, and self-aware. While you may feel like you are good enough right now, no big team is going to knock on your door unless you work towards attracting the right opportunity.
All the greatest footballers in the world have had a different journey, but they have one connecting thread. They were spotted by scouts/agents/coaches who recognized their talent and helped them transition to the big stage. So if you aspire to be the next Messi, here are some steps to help you:
Devote Yourself to learning the Sport
If you hope to make it to the big leagues, you must work hard and devote yourself to the sport. While all life goals are easier to achieve if you work towards them all day, everyday – becoming a professional football is a dream that millions see but only a handful achieve. But learning goes beyond kicking a ball, it means watching matches to learn the strategy and tactics, it means playing with better players to get better with each match and most importantly to work with a professional coach.
The role of a good coach is vital to ensuring that you train both your feet and get the right motivation and a positive psychological perspective. A good guide, especially a 1-2-1 coach will guide you through the game’s nuances as well as nutrition, physical strength, motivation and teamwork.
Join a football academy
To maximize your chances of becoming a professional footballer, you need to start as early as possible. The first step you can take to improve your skills is admission into an academy. Admission to an academy gives you the right training and exposure to build on your skills while equipping you with the best guidance to help you play professionally.
Remember, the goal is to get recognized, so try and get into the best academy in your country of residence or a popular academy in football-crazy nations.
Build connections/hire an agent
Your priority should always be to get noticed by the big clubs. An important part of this is building your connections and networking with scouts, instructors, and other players to ensure you are in the right place at the right time.
A practical step to ensure maximum visibility is hiring an agent. Agents already have a well-established network within the football world and are trusted by clubs because of the quality of talent they bring in.
It is also important to have a strong resume and a tape of your best professional moments for all your connections to take you seriously. Video footage of your form and talent is visual proof of your abilities as a footballer and helps these professionals assess the value you can add to a football club.
Remain persistent and work hard
It is important to work your way up from the academy to the biggest clubs in the world. You need to do your own research and find out which local clubs have upcoming tryouts.
Remember that the goal is to play at the highest possible level available at the moment so that you can scale up and find the right opportunity. While you work your way to the top, you need to make sure you train hard at your academy and focus on your game and overall attitude.
Once you are scaling up to become a part of the local clubs and then the bigger ones in your country, you need to ensure you are in great form at all times, even during practice matches. This is so that you can make sure a potential scout would single you out and consider you for higher-level professional games. Scouts can appear at any time during a match at local clubs to spot the best talent and then select them for a professional tryout. They assess everything right from your ball play to your game strategy and body language.
Even coaches from professional clubs sometimes come to local games to find talented players who would be a good fit for their club.
The most important piece of advice to remember if you want to enter the world of professional football is that you must not wait for things to happen to you. You need to be persistent both in terms of your effort and making use of every opportunity to showcase your abilities.
If you think you have what it takes, there is an excellent opportunity that may transform your life forever. Register for the Real Betis Football Academy in Dubai, in District 9 in Jumeirah Village on the 8th, 9th, 10th of September.