Is 17 Too Late To Become A Footballer? (Fully Answered)

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Is 17 too late to become a footballer?

Before answering that question, note that Soccer/Football or whatever you call it in your country is the most popular sport in the world.

Millions of people love this sport. Plus, some footballers have come from far to become the best in the world. This was because they started early and worked hard to reach a certain level.

But is 17 too late to become a footballer? Can I start playing football at 17? 25 maybe? What exactly is the age limit for football players?

These are the questions many people tend to ask.

Today, I am going to tell you exactly what age I think is too late to become a footballer and the best age to start playing.

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Is 17 Too Late To Become A Footballer?

If you are 17 years old and would like to become a footballer, the good news is it is not too late for you. At 17 years old, you can start gaining maturity, learn, and make it happen. But you will need focus, will, persistence, consistency and hard work to become a pro footballer.

Some of the good players out there started at the age of 17 and have been able to play in big teams.

If they were able to do it, so can you.

But, do you want to start learning football at 17, or do you want to be a pro at 17?

Let’s explore both ideas.

1- I Want To Start Learning Football At 17

Is 17 too late to become a footballer - Youth player striking the ball

If your goal is to start learning football at 17, well, you can still do it.

But you are going to need to work as hard as possible.

Also, ask yourself the question: “What am I good at?”

Asking those questions will help you find out your skills.

Are you fast enough? Do you have a powerful shot when you kick the ball? Can you dribble? You must have played in your neighbourhood with your friends, so you should know that.

Answering those questions will help you find your most powerful skills and hopefully your position on the pitch.

Plus, Are you passionate about football? How do you feel when you are playing or touching the ball?

If you are happy and excited when you are playing, if you miss classes to play football, you are passionate about it. Therefore, you should start learning and playing to improve and become a pro.

2-I Want To Be A Pro At 17

If you already know how to play football and would like to be a pro at 17, it is still possible.

First of all, the hard truth is that becoming a pro will depend on where you live. Let me explain.

There are some parts of the world where no matter how good young football players are, they don’t have a chance to make it pro because of the conditions.

As a matter of fact, I have seen young great players in some parts of Africa, for instance, as good as they were, end up doing different things and give up on football due to the lack of encouragement and amenities.

However, if you live in Europe or America, where you can easily get noticed and pushed, things might be easier for you.

In these types of places, succeeding as a footballer entirely depends on you.

So, you have to give everything it takes to make it. If you do it, you won’t have any regrets in the end.

is 17 too late to become a footballer - young football players running after the ball

In the following section, I am going to provide you with some tips to make it happen.

Tips To Become A Pro At 17

As I mentioned earlier, you have to give yourself what it takes to become a pro at 17. This involves:

  • Playing regularly in tournaments to get noticed.
  • Train at least 4 days a week.
  • Improve your weakest foot.
  • Be confident
  • Do everything you can so you don’t regret it afterwards.
  • Once you are picked on a team, don’t disappoint yourself. Think about all that it took you to reach this level.

More important tips to take into consideration.

Physical Training

Commit to strength and conditioning like weightlifting, sprints, plyometrics and agility drills to gain speed, and power and prevent injuries. Work on both legs equally. Develop core strength and balance. Eat a protein-rich diet to build lean muscle. Rest and recover well between intense sessions.

Mental Preparation

Visualize success. Review footage of yourself and top players to analyze the technique. Maintain laser-like focus during training and games. Deal with failures and rejections as opportunities to get better. Stay motivated and block out distractions. Surround yourself with supportive people.

Positions and Roles

Figure out your best position based on your abilities. Strikers need finishing skills. Midfielders should have excellent ball control, vision and passing. Defenders require physicality, tackling ability and reading of the game. Goalkeepers need quick reflexes, good hands and communication skills.

Financial Planning

Have a backup plan in case a pro career doesn’t pan out. Get an education or learn useful skills like coaching. Understand contracts and manage finances wisely as a footballer’s career is short.

Injuries and Recovery

Prevent injuries through proper preparation. Don’t overtrain and rest adequately. Treat injuries promptly and rehab fully before returning. Use sports psychology techniques to recover mentally from long-term injuries.

Late Bloomers

Some top footballers like Ian Wright, Didier Drogba and Jamie Vardy only turned pro in their early 20s due to late development. So don’t give up even if you don’t make it initially. With extreme persistence and belief, it’s possible to succeed later.

While 17 is not too late, the earlier you start, the better to engrain technical skills and mental sharpness needed to reach the elite level. But with the right work ethic and support, 17-year-olds can definitely still make it in football/soccer.

When Is It Too Late To Become A Footballer?

If you already know how to play football and have some skills, it’s not too late to find a team and become a footballer unless you are 30. 30 is the age where the body doesn’t respond like in your 20s. So, it would be difficult for you to play pro.

However, at 30 years old and older, you can still make it in a Sunday league.

So, do not be disappointed.

The Perfect Age To Start Playing Football

The perfect age to start playing football is 7 years old. At 7 years old, a kid can start learning all the fundamentals of football and grow up with it. This is why there are football academies.

If you are a dad or a mom and your kid is 7 years old, you can understand if he/she is passionate about football or not.

But do not force them to integrate into a football academy.

Do it only if the kid shows some interest in football.

A Little Back Story

I started playing football when I was just 5 years old.

I learned all the skills on the TV by watching football players such as Ronaldo(Brazilian). This is how I improved my game.

When I was 16, during a class game, there was a manager watching.

Of course, I had no idea about him.

But I played really well that day to the point that he came to see me after the game and asked me: “Do you play in a team?” I said No, I don’t. Then he told me: “Well, stay here and you will train with us”.

Imagine my happiness to have been noticed that day…

I am not trying to brag, but I want you to know that the same thing can happen to you.

So, my advice is to go out there and play every game as if it were the last.

You never know who can be watching.

Final Word

17 is definitely not too late to become a footballer. And I have perfectly explained why.

All you need is to work hard, be consistent, and have confidence that you can do it.

Are you 17 years old? What skills do you have? Where are you from? Do you think you have what it takes to become a footballer?

Let me know in the comment section below.

This article was updated on the 21 of September 2023, and republished. Hence the old comments below.

27 thoughts on “Is 17 Too Late To Become A Footballer? (Fully Answered)”

  1. Hello, i am 17 and live in germany. I’ve started loving the sport ever since my country (Croatia) got second place in 2018 World Cup. I really want to become professional and if i get the chance to play for my country and win 1st place. I used to train boxing (2 Years) but i really love football and would love to play it.

  2. Hii Warren, I am 17 years old and I am from india football was not a game that everyone would play, but now after the world Cup, it’s growing rapidly and india has come up with a big league called ISL and I was happy, so can I still be a pro footballer?I play LW/RW/CAM

    • Hi, Khan.

      Yes, I am aware of the Indian Super League, and quite frankly, it’s gaining popularity. Plus, it’s now recognized by the Indian Football Federation.

      So, I would highly encourage you to join a team participating in that league because it will gain more and more visibility. Meaning, you have more chances to make it even more significant.

      Here are a few tips:
      1. Practice consistently: The key to becoming a professional football player is to practice regularly. Set aside time each day to work on your skills and fitness.

      2. Train with a coach if possible: Find a coach who can teach you the technical skills and strategies you need to succeed. They can also help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and develop a plan to improve.

      3. Watch and learn from professionals: Watch professional games and players to learn from their techniques and strategies. Try to pick up tips and tricks you can apply to your game.

      4. Stay dedicated and motivated: Becoming a professional player takes a lot of hard work, dedication and determination. Stay motivated and focused on your goals, and don’t let setbacks discourage you.

      5. Stay in good physical shape: Professional football requires a lot of running, and you need to be in good physical shape to keep up with the demands of the game. Make sure to eat well and exercise regularly to maintain your fitness as well.

      6. Finally, be open to learning and be open to feedback. Be receptive to constructive criticism and be willing to make changes to your game.

      And that my friend, is how you are going to make it pro.

      I wish you the best of luck in joining the ISL.

      Come on, make it happen

  3. Hello, I’m Andrei, I’m from Romania, currently 16 soon to be 17,I love football and I always did, played a little bit at the age of 10 for around 1-1,5 years and I just want to start again, But I have some kind of fear inside, I can’t explain it, my right foot is amazing while my left is not good at all, I’m fast, tall , with a pretty decent physic I’m just scared and I don’t know why. Can you please give me some advice, I love this sport I would do anything to achieve my dream, anything. Could you please give me some advice

    • Hi, Andrei.

      I would say that your fear is because you don’t have enough trust in yourself. Maybe you don’t know if you’ll be capable of doing good in a team.
      But there is only one way to know whether you still have what it takes.

      You said you are tall, fast, with a decent physic. Well, use it to your advantage.

      What position do you play?

      Once you have defined your position, go out there and show what you can do.

      Before finding a team, try to play a few games in your neighbourhood. This will help you get in shape. After that, find a team for trials.

      With determination, you can do it. When you have a dream, you have to fight for it.

      Now everything is in your hands, my friend. Good luck

      • Warren, thank you. I will try my best. I printed your reply as a daily motivation and it’s now currently in my bedroom so that I won’t ever forget your message.

        I will try my best I will fight for my dream no matter what.

        One day I will be there.

        Thank you.

        • I am glad you decided to go out there and rock it, Andrei. I am sure you’ll succeed and, one day, you’ll look back and say “I fought for it…”

          Take care

        • Hi Warren,I am Levin,I am from India.i would be turning 18 in about 5 months,I just want to tell you that I love football so much and would love to make it pro one day and play for My favourite Club realmadird,however I am not very found of playing very well my position is Right wing,I Am ready to work any amount of hours as possible and is ready to do anything for the sport is it too late for me to start football and go pro ?

          • Hi, Levin.

            I would say it again, it’s never too late to start playing football and go pro even if you are 18 yrs old. As long as you are willing to put in the work and you have what it takes, anything is possible.

            Start playing in a team in your hometown. If you have what it takes, then you’ll keep getting bigger and bigger.

            Since you are a winger, here’s an article I wrote about the winger position here.

  4. I’m 17, and as a keeper, I find it hard to get motivated. I love soccer and all, but how do I stay focused on it?
    I live in a family where they prioritize education over sports and countless times I have shown I have some talent in keeping clean sheets.
    How do I convince them?

    • Hi, Emmanuel.

      My advice is to follow your passion. If you are 100% sure that soccer is something you can grow with and make it your life, then go for it no matter what.

      I also came from a family who prioritized education over sport… But you have to show them that you genuinely love soccer. If they see that passion in you, they will have no choice than encouraging you in your direction.

      So, if you are not already in a team, find a team and work hard. Your family needs to see that you play in a team, after which they will take you seriously.

      The main reason that could make them prefer education over soccer is if they think sport doesn’t have a future in their country. In this case, you must prove to them that you have what it takes to be a great goalie and, hopefully, to play for your national team one day. Nothing is impossible.

      If you have any other questions, do not hesitate.

  5. Hello. Thank you very much for this good article. I am 17 years old and I live in Poland. I love football. When I was little I used to go to the club but then I quit which was a mistake. Since then, I only play on the district court with my friends. I want to go back to football and become a footballer. I would like to join a club again, but I’m a little afraid that I will be different from the rest of the players in terms of skills. I’m shy and it stops me. I can’t find the courage to try again because I’m ashamed and I’m afraid I’ll be worse. I am training a lot at home right now. I know dribbling tricks that some players from clubs can’t and I learned them myself at home. I am very ambitious. What do you recommend me do? Regards

    • Hi, Thomas. Thanks for stopping by.

      First thing first, what position do you play?

      You said you used to play in a club before… If you think you have what it takes, I recommend you take your courage and go for trials in a team. Also, keep in mind that football isn’t just about dribbling. Remember, the best skills are passing and controlling the ball.

      You will never know unless you try. You are ambitious, and that’s a good thing.
      So, keep training at home and ensure you have enough endurance, improve your passing and ball control, master your position, and finally, go for trials in a team. I am sure you will be picked. Have confidence in yourself, and that’s how you will succeed.

      If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out again.

  6. Hey i am Felix from kenya a good dribbler and i love playing football,I am 17 and willing to play for one of the top clubs in europe .Can i get there?

    • Hi, Felix. Of course, you can get there as long as you have the determination and you put in the work. It’s not too late. So, go make it happen

  7. Hi, I’m Tommy from Zambia an African country. I am 17 years old and just recently started loving football more than any other time in my life and wish to play in the premier league one day. The thing is I’ve never been at a football academy or played any trials, and my football skills aren’t good. Is it too late to achieve my goal?

    • Hey, Tommy. Thanks for stopping by.

      Nothing is impossible in life. You are 17 and you have never been to a football academy. Well, the first thing you should think about is to join an academy.

      The football academy will allow you to show yourself to the people in your local area and hopefully, be recruited by scouts if you have what it takes. After that, if you can make it to the first division, a nice agent might notice you and make your premier league dream possible, who knows?

      Plus, you mentioned that your skills aren’t good. So, you should also think of improving your skills. To do it, you have to play in your area with your friends and tell them to tell you what you are missing and need to improve. Take the critics without getting furious. This will help you improve.

      Remember, hard work always pays off.

      So, give yourself what it takes and make it happen.

      In conclusion, it’s not too late to achieve your goal

  8. I have never played football in my life and I once had the opportunity to start playing but I declined it and I regret it ever since, Is it still too late for me to become a football player? and would it be too late to want to become a professional one?
    As I have come to realise I really want to become one but I just dont know what direction to go in to start

    • Hi, Is it too late for you to become a football player?

      Well, first of all, I guess you are 17, otherwise you wouldn’t land on this article. So, to answer your question, no, it is not too late for you to become a football player as long as you have some skills and determination.

      However, if you want to make it pro, this is something different. Let me first tell you that it is not impossible. Plus, Do you have what it takes to be a pro? What position do you play?

      If you really want to make it pro, I would advise you to start playing in your neighbourhood first and see how it goes. You said you have never played before. So, it is important to start playing with your friends and allow them to judge you.

      If you have what it takes, then go to a football academy for trials.

      It is all about hard work and determination.

      Good luck.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


  9. Hi I’m 17 from Nigeria. And i have speed but i believe i can make it. If u sing me to any club i will be very grateful. And if u can run can u be at center forward (CF)?

    • Hi, Rukeme.

      It’s good you believe that you can make it. This is how all 17 years old people should think. I like your confidence, this is what determines a great player. A great example is Cr7.

      Unfortunately, I cannot sign you. But, I can provide you with tips to help you make it pro. Use the contact form in the menu above to get in touch with me.

      As for the last question, yes, if you can run and have a lot of speed, this is a huge advantage as a centre forward. But don’t just rely on your speed. Also, make sure you have a good passing and shooting ability and vision to play as a centre forward.

      Let me know if you need anything else.


    • Hi, OZOANI. Thanks for reaching out.

      I know what it feels like to be a talented football player in Africa.

      Unfortunately, this continent lacks of several amenities to allow young talents to go pro…

      You are only 17. So, you’re still young. My advice is, keep pushing. Don’t give up. Go to different teams for tests. Give Everything during the trials. Hopefully, you’ll get picked and start your pro journey… If you still perform from level to higher level, you might be seen by agents that could literally find teams for you in Europe…

      Another advice I have for you is, if you have some savings, try to move to Europe for tourism or apply for studies. Once you’re there, find a team and show them your talent. If you’re good enough, your life is gonna change…

      I wish you all the best my friend.



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