If you dream of becoming a football pro one day, then your biggest chance to help that dream come true is to join an academy. Whether it is Lionel Messi at Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo at Sporting Lisbon or Kyllian Mbappé at AS Monaco, virtually all football players had to work their way up through the ranks in the academy. To help you, Looking for Soccer, the go-to website for finding football camps at the biggest clubs in the world, is presenting its own list of ways of joining a football academy.
Your best chance of getting into a club’s academy is by getting scouted. Football clubs always have an eye out for the next Haaland or De Bruyne and it is impressive how deep their scouting network goes. From spectators at local games to coaches to even parents in some cases, if a player is playing at a consistently good enough level, then they will get spoken about and news travels fast.
It differs from club to club, but generally it is the best players in the region or country that get picked for the academies. To impress, it is much better to play a simple game cleanly and efficiently and helping your team than trying to shine through individual flashes of brilliance. Scouts are looking for players that have a special quality, but not putting the team first will be a negative. A positive attitude is an attribute that is very favourably looked on.
If you are trying to join an academy, one of the first things you should do is check whether there are any open trials for any academies nearby. These are more or less common depending on the countries, but academies from all over the world have open trials so make sure to look online. Open trials are a fantastic chance to impress the coaches and scouts and they are also useful to learn more about football and what level you need to be at.
If you do attend an open trial but do not get picked, do not let your head drop. You may have been unlucky, or the academy was not looking for a player of your type. It is important that you believe in your ability, as long as you do not delude yourself.
Take part in football camps
On its website, Looking For Soccer offers a variety of football camps. The main objective is not to get scouted but some players do get spotted by scouts during the camps. Indeed, the coaches are qualified and will have an eye out all week for the best players.
If you are significantly better and your play is more developed than the other players, they will not hesitate to point it out to the clubs. In fact, sometimes they will directly contact the scouting department or scouts from a club. This in no way means you will get a place at an academy, however it is likely that clubs will not want to let an exceptional talent to slip through their fingers, and will at least give a player a day to trial, and then possibly try and sign them.
It is worth remembering that it is very difficult to get into a football academy, so consider alternative routes as well. For example, you could try and directly contact a football academy you are interested in joining and send them an email with a video of your personal highlights. This may not work for La Masia or Carrington, but for clubs with limited resources, it is always worth a go !