To become a professional soccer player in Europe requires dedication, consistency, individual skills, physical strength and technical know-how.
The European continent houses most of the soccer powerhouse that runs professionally at various levels.
The high revenue generated within the European continent has inspired young players to consider playing professionally in Europe.
At least in some significant leagues, an average player could earn as high as 40,000 as a weekly wage.
In Europe, most leagues are run professionally, and as such, no club is willing to spend more on a player who cannot perform or solve the club’s immediate problem.
Here are the ways to become a professional soccer player in Europe
1. Start young
Soccer clubs in Europe are always on the lookout for young players. This is the main reason why bigger clubs on the continent spend vast sums of money to organise camps or even send scouts to various parts of the world, most especially Africa and South America.
Recommended age for any beginner in football is between 4 to 5 years and beyond. However, professional clubs would prefer ages 16 to 28 maximum.
The reason why professional soccer clubs are always on the lookout for young players is that as they grow older, they begin to adapt to the system adopted at the club.
Clubs prefer doing this to make it easier for the players to adapt to the style of play at the club as they grow older towards moving to the senior team.
As a product of the development squad, you can easily break into the first team in no distant time.
Please take a closer look at players like Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Phil Foden, etc. These players were products of the development squad at their various clubs before advancing to the senior team.
2. Have a goal
Goal setting is one of the best ways to achieve whatever you wish to get. So, if you are planning on taking football as your, you should be prepared to face the challenges that come with it.
Always have a target and stick to it. Professional soccer is not easy, and you cannot become successful with your career in one day.
Instead, you have to work right since. Hard work would be your only answer.
3. Be consistent
Consistency pays. Have it at the back of your mind that your efforts determine how successful you would be in the long run.
Do not sit in one place and expect your career to accelerate faster when you are doing nothing.
Your development as a player is critical. Also, train regularly to keep fit. As an upcoming professional, you have to be consistent. You have to develop a training schedule that will suit you as you go further.
In Europe, several countries have standard training centres to help grassroots players.
Always visit these places, become part of them, from there you can develop yourself further.
4. Create a personal training activity
At this point, you have already chosen to become a professional. But now that you are yet to be one, it is not the primary source of income, so it turns out to be a difficult thing for you to keep.
To avoid this, you should consider creating a training activity for yourself even though it is not daily.
Look deep inside your routine activities, then draft out a training schedule that would be best convenient for you. If you can map out two or three to cover for your lost hours, it would go a long way.
How serious you are with your training determines the outcome or your performance when you are invited for trials by professional teams.
5. Go for trials whenever they come
Clubs provide trials to test your abilities. Coaches want to see what you can offer.
Do not wait for trials to get to you. Go out and look for problems that could get you a place with a European club.
Avoid sitting at the comfort of your house expecting clubs to come looking for you.
If you are already residing in EU countries, you can always establish channels for communication to be informed of any development.
I would suggest you attend trials for teams at any level because it could get you somewhere. What you need to know is, If you are good, bigger soccer clubs from top divisions will come looking for you.
6. Start with a local club
The local league in your country is still one of the best places you should start from, be it the second division or third division.
The most crucial part is you have a club you play for. By so doing, you could get scouted by a European club.
Every year, European clubs send scouts to different parts of the world searching for players. You could still be among players that these scouts would consider.
7. Approach clubs
If you reside in the EU, you should approach clubs within your county’s national league.
If you believe in what you can offer, approach some of these clubs by writing directly to them, or you can even visit them during training hours.
You can also meet some of the handlers of the professional club development squad to tell them what you can offer.
Do not sit at home; approach some of these clubs, and you could be heading towards the right way.
Remember, football pays a lot. As you move higher, you are expected to earn more.
8. Join an Academy
A soccer Academy is a perfect place to kickstart your career. The Academy serves as a link between players like you with the already established clubs.
What you have to do is to register with them, then pay up the necessary fees.
9. Attend Nationwide trials in your country
Nationwide trials are organised biennially for the U15, U17, U20 national teams. If you are within the age above range, consider these national trials.
Several professional footballers have used these avenues to secure bigger clubs outside their country.
During FIFA age grade competition, clubs do send scouts to search for talented players
10. Look for player management to the organisation
The most significant step you should take is to sign a working contract with a football agent or player management organisation to help you secure a club.
Look for a well-established agent or player management organisation with several contacts worldwide.
As you sign up with them, also take your personal development more seriously to deliver whenever you are invited over for trials.
11. Establish contact with other players you meet
As you attend camps trials, always establish contacts ideas with your peers. This way, you would be notified whenever there’s a camping, trial, etc.
12. Visit the official website of clubs
Another option is regularly checking the official website of already established clubs within the European continent.
Clubs always post about the latest news activities which concern various teams departments.
13. Apply for scholarships in Europe
There are scholarship programs available for athletes in some European countries.
In the United States, for example, the NCCA is in charge of amateur sports management and development.
Apply for these scholarship opportunities within you. If you are impressive, you could be recommended for a professional club.
Enrol on sports scholarship programs that would help you accelerate your career.
14. Develop a passion for a team
The best thing that can motivate you to go further is your passion for soccer teams based in Europe. If you have passion, you can go higher with it.
To achieve this, you should consider supporting any team within the top leagues in the continent.
15. Do your research
It was said that Research is the product of the investigation and discovery of the fact that could solve your immediate and future problem.
Before you even begin, you should research the best countries that would be favourable for you.
Also, it would help if you tried to find out when and where Professional clubs usually induct players into their various development squads.
Also, try to know what coaches might want to see in you. Trust me; if you have a clear idea of the basic things coaches want to see in you, you can confidently pass the test of trials.
Some of the things coaches are looking
- Ability to disseminate passes in a tight situation.
- Well-timed crosses.
- Game management.
16. Follow the development squad of professional clubs
All professionally run soccer clubs have up to two or more development squads with the sole purpose of producing players for the senior side.
Please do your best to follow their various Social Media handles to get the latest happenings around the team.
17. Establish contacts in Europe
Though this is not as easy as it sounds, you can still establish close contact with someone or a friend who is playing for a club or works with a soccer club.
By so doing, you could be inferred informed of the latest happenings around any team they have a close relationship with.
18. Sign a contract with a well-established agent
If you have dreams of playing professionally in Europe, one of the ways you can go about it is to register with a well-established agent based in Europe.
Becoming a professional soccer player in Europe is a bit challenging and not easy, depending on how you go about it.
You should start at a young age, be consistent, attend trials, migrate to cities with more football activities and attend practices in Europe.