Becoming a professional football (soccer) player is one of the most coveted jobs that you can have (particularly in England), not just for the ridiculous amounts of money that you can earn (some top players earn upwards of £100,000 a week, not to mention the money they earn on sponsorship and endorsement deals) but also for the social status and because many people simply love playing football and love being involved in the game. While I do think that the game has become overly money-driven in recent years, there’s still a core contingency of players that would no-doubt play for minimum wage, just because they love the game so much.
So how can you become a professional footballer? Well unfortunately, unless you’re already firmly on the way there, anyone over the age of 22 doesn’t really have a shot. Becoming a pro is all about starting early, and many kids join top clubs’ academies around the ages of 12 or 13, only to sign professional contracts at 17 and 18.
There are 3 main categories of attributes that you’ll need to succeed – mental, physical and technical. Your physical attributes (such as strength, speed and agility) are in a lot of ways genetic, and there’s only so much you can do. That being said, fitness is the most important of all, so you need to make sure that you eat healthy, avoid alcohol and cigarettes and exercise regularly. The next main thing is your technique, which is what separates good players from the greats. This is what you’ll need to work on daily if you want any kind of chance of making it.