This is a detailed guide on how to become a professional footballer in Nigeria.
Entrepreneurship in Nigeria seems like a nightmare more often than not, and it takes more than ordinary to record significant success.
This does not mean you can’t be successful in what you do. Rather, it connotes that you need to do more than ordinary, and a way to get things done right is to apply the right approach.
Therefore, this post has been put together to show you how exactly to become a professional footballer in Nigeria.
I have come to answer the question of how do I start a career in football.
At the end of this post, you will be energized to pursue your passion of becoming a professional footballer.
Professional Football In Nigeria
Football is the most popular sport in Nigeria. From schools to colleges, communities, NGOs, and so on, football has been so relevant to youths and young adults.
In the professional scene, Nigeria has provided various professional footballers who have gone to represent the country in international games and competitions.
But, it is a bitter truth to swallow that it is not easy to chase a professional career in football.
There are many factors that seem to make it difficult for emerging footballers to set their career burning high. But, that is not our focus. Instead, let’s see what could be done to help you go through those challenges.
How To Become A Professional Footballer In Nigeria
Playing grassroots football is sometimes beautiful, but it can not be likened to becoming an internationally recognized professional footballer.
The excitement, the love from fans, the continental achievements, the financial reward is just but a few of the advantages of becoming a re-known football player.
So how do we get there? Let’s move.
1. Be Determined
A wise man once said you don’t get to the top of Mount Everest by chance.
You must have in mind where you’re going, else chances are you may not go too far.
Therefore, the starting point to become a professional footballer in Nigeria is to have a strong determination about your vision.
You may have the talent to play football, but you must make up your mind about taking it as a profession.
There will be challenges on your way up and you will give up too soon if you are not strongly determined from the start.
Be sure you really want to do this and cross your heart not to go back.
2. Make Proper Planning.
Well, this point may sound off, but hold in before you discard it.
Taking football as a profession is something that will require so much of your time in training and learning. The more you train, the better you get, and the greater your chances of getting to the top.
So what is my point about planning?
Before you start out your career path, mark out a proper plan on how to achieve your aim.
This plan will serve as your guide as you move on, and when you tend to go off balance.
Some of the things to be included in your plan are:
- Your goals and aspirations. What football club would you love to play for. This will help you channel your strength right.
- How do you get the right agent to link you to achieving your vision?
- The source of funds for kits.
- The source of funds to take care of academy charges, and more.
3. Work Hard And Make Major Sacrifices
One of the things that will give you an upper hand in the very competitive sphere of professional football is to be different by engaging in things that will set you apart.
A saying goes thus “Anything that sets you apart will set you at large”.
This means you must do something to set yourself apart, and it is none other but making sacrifices.
Examples of sacrifices may include:
- Staying back to train yourself after others have left.
- Minimizing unnecessary hangouts with friends.
- Returning to practice a skill you didn’t get right.
- Forsaking your comfort zone, and getting the needful done.
- Taking healthy food, and less junk (I’ll talk more on this).
- Talent makes things easy, but talented footballers are so much now.
- Get up and do more than they are all doing, that is what hard work means.
4. Eat Right
You must have heard about athletes being disqualified because they fail some medical tests.
Sometimes, it is not because they deliberately take harmful substances into their body, it may be because they were careless about what they eat.
Sporting activities require every part of your body, and damage to one organ may hinder how far you will go.
Take care of your health by taking healthy diets only. Avoid eating just anything, and reduce the intake of junk or improperly prepared food.
Make sure your diet is balanced in carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins. This will help you.
5. Join A Football Academy
Joining a football academy is a very great way of projecting yourself to the world real quick.
In this new era, there are various football academies that can help you get to the top of the ladder sooner than later.
Scouts of club footballs visit academies to watch upcoming talents and to catch them young.
football academies will also help you to get the qualifications needed to be a professional footballer, and one good thing is that you can sometimes join a football academy for free in Nigeria.
Many academies also have football clubs, and if you have the potential, you can easily represent your Academy in competitive matches where you will be seen by clubs both home and abroad.
6. Join A Footballing Team
Not everyone will have straight access to a football academy.
However, if you can not join an academy yet for one reason or another, you may consider joining a grassroots football team.
You will need to train personally more frequently, but you also need to be able to translate the skills you’ve gotten into a team-play.
No professional player plays a match alone, so you need to get used to playing with a team.
The best team will help to promote you just like when you join an academy.
Also note that if your team isn’t as standard as it should be, you may switch to another team for you to have a better chance.
This does not mean you should change things too often, you need to be patient, loyal, and truthful with yourself.
In addition, you may still consider joining an academy even after you join a team, especially if the academy is one that will give you more exposure.
7. Start Early
Delay may be harmful. But starting earlier is profitable.
If you are opportune to know that you want to become a professional footballer at a tender age, I’ll advise you to start immediately.
Starting off at a young age will set you at an advantage because you will have enough time to develop yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.
When you begin at a young age, you would have gotten very experienced even as a youngster. Just imagine yourself or a kid that becomes a professional footballer at age 14.
Although, this is not to say you should give up on yourself because you are already an adult. No, you can still achieve your professional aim.
8. Promote Yourself, Promote Your Team.
You may be wondering if you have the capability to promote your team or yourself.
But you do. There are many people that may know you in person, but who may be oblivious of what you do.
When you promote your team, you are calling the attention of the world to yourself indirectly, and this is one of the ways which scouts can spot you.
You can make use of social media handles, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and others to showcase your skills and talents.
Some of the contents you can post include:
- Videos of your team playing or training
- Pictures of you and other players
- Videos of you training hard
- Results of matches your team is involved in.
- You can also be creative about how to promote yourself, give it a thought and you’ll be surprised to find out you can do great things.
That is all about how to become a professional footballer in Nigeria.
Hope this was helpful?