Is Football a Career? 4 Important Hard Truths No One Ever Told You

Is Football a Career? 4 Important Hard Truths No One Ever Told You
Photo by Pixabay

Is football a career? Many people have asked the question several times and all the times, I found it hard to say yes or no! Reason is what I will be explaining below.

First of all, it’s important to understand what football is, britannica defined football as “a game involving two teams of 11 players who try to maneuver the ball into the other team’s goal without using their hands or arms. The team that scores more goals wins.”

The above is the brief definition of football. Now the question is, is football a career? I think the answer is a very complex one, and I will explain.

Is Football a Career?

I grew up in a rural continent of Africa and I will be writing this through experience. While growing up, I saw a lot of people, especially our elderly ones who played football to the point that they’re called up to feature in a every village games against the other village.

But, the painful thing is, as I grew older, most of the people I knew that played so well while growing up are not doing well today, most of them regretted their youthful years, one told me when I visited Africa that he wasted all his life pursuing what he thought was a career.

Don’t get me wrong, I felt bad for him because I knew when he used to play. He was so good that he never misses any match as long as he is injury free. But today, he is regretting what he thought that would have given him a better life.

Again, don’t get me wrong, I’m speaking from experience but there are things that someone should know. You might say that was then. Yes! But what about today, is football a career? Yes and no is the answer.

Yes, because we have big names that have succeeded in football, but does that make it a career? Yes, to them it’s a career but to some, it’s not.

No! It’s not a career because when you have never gotten called up by a big club or not getting paid in it, it becomes useless because whatever you’re doing and not getting paid in it, is never a career. So you see, to my own perceptions, football is not a career until one starts making a living out of it.

Is Football a Career? 4 Important Hard Truths No One Ever Told You
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Why Football Is Not A Career

There are a lot of definitions of career but I will go with this by Oxford dictionary: “career is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.”

The above definition has already answered the question, but there are more to it, when someone ask is football a career? I assume the person wants to know exactly what he or she is getting into and it’s best to know.

Why did I say that? Well, since career all about “opportunities for progress” – football isn’t included when listing careers because a lot people who are professional footballers today did not know when they would get called up. Don’t get me wrong, I have watched and listened to interviews, where Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi talk about how they began at their early stages and it doesn’t sound as a career, but now that they are here and have progressed tremendously, it’s a career to them.

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Here is what I meant, when you asked professional footballers about their past, you will see that most of them started football because they just want to play for the fun and not necessarily, what they dreamed off while growing up, although, this might be best described to the older generation of footballers.

So, football is not a career until one succeeded, but it can be described as a time waster to those that did not succeed in it, hence most people quit early to start something else.

Why Football Can Be Described As A Career

While I have elaborated on the question, is football a career? It’s best to accept that somehow it’s a career especially when you succeeded and get to play in a professional club and win big.

To people like Ronaldo, Messi, Osimhen, Sallah, Mane, Kane, name but a few. Football is their career. However, it’s important to note that most of them were able to get where they are today because they started from the academy and they have already made it a career while they were kids.

But what happens to that kid in the slum playing? Well, a lot of them also get called up but the chances are slim, hence it looks like football to them isn’t a career but a means of exercise to get your leg stretched and burn the calories.

Football Academy

Don’t get me wrong, in Africa, we also have football academy, I know at least some before I left the shores of Africa, and I hope and believe that most of the kids enrolled in the football academy are getting noticed by professional football clubs.

Unlike in Europe where kids who are enrolled into football academy have chances of making football a career. A lot of professional footballers today came from Academy. Yes! They do, and to them, football is a career.

So you see, why most people search the term, is football a career? Should not be mistaken or misinterpreted, they are so right and should be given a due response.

Making Football A Career

Like I said above, most parents in Europe enroll their kids into a football academy while they were at the age of five or six, it’s important to note that at that age, they know nothing apart from football and it becomes a career to them.

But when you don’t have the resources or good manager, it became a time waster and is the reason why most people don’t fancy it until one gets called up and start making it a career.

To parents, if you want to make football a career to your kids, enroll them while they were kids and they will do well while growing up and become professional footballers.

But to that kid in the slum, he/she will play better and better but without talent, a good manager, luck and if you’re a religious person, without prayers you might end up not getting called up or not getting paid for it, at the end, it will look as if it’s not a career.

So get busy or quit, in summary, football is not a career until one starts making a living out of it. While to some, it’s a career because their future has already been designed and the clubs they will play to showcase their talent have already enlisted them.

Now the question remains is football a career? If you think otherwise from what the article says, please drop your comment in the comment section and don’t forget to bookmark our website for more interesting articles.

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