Reaching the world stage in football is no mean feat. While talent and indisputable skills play an important role in setting the best players apart, there’s a lot more to being a world-class athlete than just pure ability.
No matter whether you’re an aspiring Premier League player or you’ve recently joined the local club, it’s worth knowing the characteristics that shape and define the best players in the game.
Top five traits for a professional footballer
It’s true that some players are simply naturally gifted when it comes to playing the beautiful game. Talent shouldn’t be seen as the be-all-and-end-all at the start of a player’s career since it can always be developed. However, most critics would agree that every world-class player starts with talent evident from an early age.
Positive mental attitude: while it’s a phrase that might ring some distant bells, there’s a lot to be said about the attitudes of professional football players and how it reflects on their reputation. Throughout any career in football, incredible highs and monumental lows are inevitable.
The world’s best players possess an ability to stay calm and collected through every frustration, without getting rude or arrogant after a period of success. Some of the very best players are known for their charity work and community involvement, including Salah, who’s a UNICEF ambassador. As well as his playing, there are plenty of reasons why young fans and aspiring players might choose to wear a Mo Salah shirt.
Game IQ also gives players an upper hand when it comes to competitive football. Phrases like ‘tactical awareness’ and ‘composure on the ball’ spring to mind in conversations about game intelligence, and they largely describe the way a player sees, navigates, and manipulates the space on the pitch. Game skills start with strategies.
Training, training, and more training. This commitment needs to be taken seriously by players who want to work their way to the top and stay there. Professional football demands a lifelong commitment to learning, because there’s always room for improvement – even after years of success with a top team.
When it comes to a player representing their country, they need to understand their responsibilities. They should dedicate every aspect of their life to the game, including the way they eat, sleep, and live – especially at the peak of the season. A nutrient-rich, low-fat diet is essential, along with committing long hours and extensive time away from home.
Lastly, technique is football’s universal language, but not every player is fluent. A few of the most critical focus areas for footballers, no matter their team, include:
- Body movement: A player must move their body efficiently both with and without the ball to leverage every opportunity in the game. Stamina is essential.
- Dribbling the ball: Being able to move the ball in multiple directions and at different speeds means that players can stay in full control of the ball.
- Ball control: World-class players must master the ability to control and collect the ball with both of their feet as well as their legs, chest, and head.
Think you’ve got what it takes? Feel free to share your own game-related stories with other readers in the comments section below.
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