Thousands of budding young footballers up and down the country chase the ultimate dream of turning pro, but very few make it.
The reality is harsh – 50% of academy graduates who signed a pro contract at 16 will out of the game two years later. It’s even worse for players who haven’t established themselves by the age of 21 – 75% of them get cut.
Still think you’ve got what it takes to make it? Good – you’ve got desire – an essential quality according to Arsenal full-back, Kieran Gibbs.
“You need a certain amount of ability, but the rest is up to you – how much you want it, how much you’re willing to give and sacrifice for the game,” he explains.
“You’re playing every weekend from an early age so your ability to do things socially with your friends is limited.”
If you’re ready to do whatever it takes, Gibbs is ready to help. We spoke to the England international to find out what it takes to become a professional footballer.
Hit play and fast track your route to the big leagues with Gibbs' words of wisdom.
Kieran Gibbs is speaking as part of the new adidas #BeTheDifference campaign, wearing the all-new adidas X15. For more www.adidas.co.uk/football. To join the conversation, follow @adidasUK
For more football tips see:
How to become a professional footballer
How to catch Wenger's eye
Harry Kane: How to make it pro
Toni Duggan: How to make it pro
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.