The Odds of Becoming a Professional Soccer Player (Answered)

Updated on 
January 31, 2022

I think everybody soccer player at some point in their life questioned the odds in their career.

The odds. Every time I hear this word, I know I'm not gonna like the topic around it.

Why do I hate it? Well, the main reason why is because even though it provides you with some statistics and real data, it doesn't really tells you anything at the same time. It has nothing to do with your success and your progress.

It only makes you feel that you are missing out - and that you should start getting success immediately. And even though some scarcity is good, it's never healthy to let statistics determine your chances.

Now that I got my heart out, it's time to give you the answers!

What are the odds of becoming a professional soccer player?

The odds of becoming a professional soccer player in England are 1 in 8333 - based on calculations of how many schoolboys out of 1.5 million will make it into the Premier League. So from that study we know, that the success rate of becoming a professional soccer player playing the Premier League is 0.012%.

Now, I want you to take this number with a grain of salt.

First of all, it's counting only schoolboys in England and only counting players that get into the Premier League. They don't take into consideration other pretty good leagues in England. So the actual numbers will be less cruel.

Another study made in England showed, that 8 out of 400 players given a professional Premier League contract at 18 remained at the highest level by their 22nd birthday. This is a very important note, because even though the players that get into the Premier League when they are 18, only a small percentage of them will actually remain to play at the highest level.

Many factors come in such as performance, health, environment and etc.

There is one more study made saying that only 1.9% of NCAA players are drafted into MLS. That sounds much better right?

But still - the numbers and statistics are telling us, that it is very hard to become a professional soccer player. As cruel as it sounds, the odds are against young soccer talents.

It's very important to also note, that some of these studies weren't considered a high influx of foreign talent coming from all parts of the world.

So even though a career of a soccer player is very rewarding, it's also very hard to succeed in.

Your real chance - working on yourself

Now that I showed you a jarring reality of the odds of becoming a pro soccer player, I want to encourage you to stop thinking about these.

Your real chance of becoming a soccer player is in your hands, and in your hand only.

Even though the odds are against you - you can always succeed.

Of course, you have to be well-prepared, athletic, talented and most importantly hard-working to get there - but if you persist, you can do it!

Wrapping it up

There are many stories of professional soccer players making it in their 22s - even older! Players that went pro later in their life, even though they played their whole life a small "Sunday" league.

Great examples are N'Golo Kanté, Jamie Vardy, and Virgil Van Dijk. I encourage you to learn about them and their journey. See for yourself what can be done if you stay consistent and persistent. They had a normal day-to-day job.

Virgil Van Dijk actually worked in his 20s in a pub for a few dollars an hour! Important is that he was working on himself, he actively played throughout his teenage years and finally made it.

I want you to focus on soccer stories like these above only because they can motivate you and show you, that even though the odds are against you - you can overcome them, prove haters wrong, and prove yourself right!

Now, I want you to literally take these cruel odds, and throw them out of the window.

Focus on yourself and your own journey, and you'll get there.

Best of luck!

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Tom Lindeman
Ball Athlete project
Hey! My name is Tom and I created this blog in order to help people wherever they are in their sport journey. Inspirational posts, guides, reviews and much more! Read about the project here.
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