Soccer players in their youth generally have the same aspiration: get scouted and sign for a European club. Some of the biggest clubs in soccer are European – from Manchester City to Juventus – and they hold the opportunity for players to compete in the best leagues in the world and earn the highest salaries. Of course, the journey to signing for a European club is a long one – but it is possible (just ask America’s Christian Pulisic, who now plays for Chelsea in the Premier League).
Here are some smart tips to help get you scouted and play in Europe.
Most professional soccer players start out in camps, like Soccer to Football – https://soccer-to-football.com/.
Here, you will do some training sessions with excellent coaches who will then evaluate you. From there, you’ll be sent to Europe to train with a European club suited to your ability level – which then opens the opportunity for you to establish yourself and build contacts.
Before the era of YouTube and social media, your only hope of joining a big club was through being scouted in person. However, soccer has evolved because of technology – as up-and-coming players are now commonly scouted through highlight reels they have posted online (or sent directly to scouts and coaches). Even professional players send highlight reels to clubs when they are searching for a new contract.
As a young free agent, you need to start recording your matches and training sessions. Then, you will be able to create a highlight reel showcasing your best goals, assists, and skills.
Your highlight reel will become a valuable tool moving forward and could be vital in getting you a professional soccer contract.
Social media is key to building your brand as a soccer player – it helps you to grow your audience, get recognized, and earn sponsorship deals. Make sure to join all the popular mainstream platforms – from Twitter to Instagram – and regularly post content. Your content should be videos of you playing, photos of your travels, and pretty much anything else soccer-related. Smart tip – make sure to follow every scout and agent who has an Instagram account (you can even reach out to them through DMs).
In soccer, tactics are constantly evolving as managers come up with fresh and creative ideas.
It doesn’t take long for tactical trends to get replaced by new ones, so make sure to become a student of the game and follow all the emerging trends (particularly in Europe). For example, the once glamorous ‘tika-taka’ style of play (made popular by Pep Guardiola) has now been replaced by dynamic, high-energy, high-press soccer (see Bayern Munich for reference, who have arguably the fittest and most energetic squad in the world).
Becoming a tactical expert will make you a better and more adaptable player.
There are so many soccer boots to choose from – it can be overwhelming. There’s Nike, Puma, Adidas, and Under Armour (just to name a few). Try as many brand models as possible to see which boots are best for your feet. Remember, don’t chop and change boots every game – you need to be consistent so that your feet are used to the same weight and feel. For example, if you’re a winger you should be wearing a lightweight model.