The making of a great soccer player is an often discussed subject among soccer fans. What did a soccer maestro like Pele or a legend like Maradona have that made them one of the best soccer players of all time?
Some may even wonder how they might emulate Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. However, an in-depth examination of the situation reveals no secret formula to this.
But there are crucial attributes that every elite soccer player must possess and basic steps and particular drills that they engage in.
So, for any soccer player to reach the class or even become better than the players previously mentioned, they must pay the sacrifices they made or even go above and beyond.
Though many believe luck must have been on the side of many of the players referred to as the best in soccer, they also positioned themselves. They had a disposition that gave them an advantage over other players.
This article is aimed at helping soccer players become better at the game. Also, it is aimed at helping them with the right mentality that will give them an advantage over other players, thereby allowing them to get their names inscribed on the list of the best players to play soccer.
How to be the best soccer player in the world?
Becoming the best in any field or sphere of influence is one of the common goals of humans. However, not many achieve this.
The basic reason for this is that most only have this as a wish and are not ready to give what it takes to be the best.
With the fact that many people are not ready to give what it takes to be the best, the few that are ready to take action will always have the edge over the rest.
In soccer, just like in any other sphere of influence or sport, the case is identical. However, some players are naturally gifted at playing soccer with ease and getting things done on the soccer pitch.
But in most cases, the best soccer players are the ones who make more sacrifices than their counterparts.
This section of the article is dedicated to explaining the things soccer players can do to become the best in their league or competition and even in the whole world at large.
Some soccer players are born with better inherent abilities than others. To improve in soccer, however, everyone must practice effectively and train appropriately. So, as a soccer player, create a precise practice regimen that you can stick with.
Before you start your training, make a list of things you want to work on. You will not progress if your drills are disorganized and you are merely doing activities randomly without a focus. For example, you don’t want to be shooting the ball anyhow.
It will be better for you to consider what you need to work on in particular to be productive in the long run.
Set aside a certain period for training. For example, you could train for two hours each day. Block off time throughout the hour to practice a certain skill.
For instance, you may decide to devote 30 minutes to hone your shooting skills, spend an hour working on your physique, and use the last 30 minutes to practice your dribbling skills.
The above-mentioned example of purposeful training will help any player to develop in their style of play and generally as a soccer player.
The benefit of practicing very often cannot be overemphasized in the development of a player or how it helps them get better.
Drilling will help soccer players keep fit and stay healthy. One of the characteristics of all the players who can be regarded in people’s opinion as the best in the game of soccer is their quality of staying fit.
If a soccer player is unhealthy and injury-prone, there will be little time for them to be able to prove their worth on the soccer pitch, or in the long run, prove to the world the great talent they are.
Drilling is a great way to stay injury-free and a pathway through which a soccer player can walk towards becoming the best soccer player in the world.
A soccer player might be very talented, they might have the best dribbling skills or the shooting or even defending skills, but he will not be referred to as a complete soccer player if they are not able to stay fit and off-injuries.
Ousmane Dembele and Eden Hazard are perfect examples of players who had drawbacks in their careers because they did not, perhaps, undergo enough drilling to stay fit and ultimately avoid career-damaging injuries.
Just like many others who walk in their paths, they had a huge potential of becoming the greatest player of all time. However, they could not attain the feat due to their injury problems which could have been avoided if they practiced hard to stay fit.
The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Didier Drogba, on the other hand, are, without a doubt, examples of rare gems to grace the game of soccer.
They greatly value drilling, practice many things and many skills, and also cherish their fitness so dearly that they give good attention to all that concerns it.
Their commitment to getting better can be seen in the results they produced. Ronaldo, for example, arguably has the highest number of goals scored in soccer by a professional soccer player as far as the history of the game is concerned.
On the other hand, Didier Drogba remains one of the finest African soccer players in history and a Chelsea legend. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a predatory striker whose goal-scoring record is insane.
Being the best is possible to whoever is ready to give the best value. In soccer, to be valuable starts from having a great mentality towards practicing and help the team by being the best and giving the best match performance possible.
It should be noted that being consistent in practices and drills is not going to be an easy ride. It requires a lot of dedication, endurance, and focus.
But, every soccer player who is determined to be consistent in the place of drilling should be encouraged because the fruit of the labor will be crystal clear in their match performance.
Work on your skills and master your team’s tactics
Honing your skills as a soccer player is a good way through which you can get better and become the best in your position.
There are special drills that help soccer players hone their skills. As a soccer player who aims to get to the peak, it is only advisable to get involved in these drills.
Part of the skills that a soccer player can work on to become the best in the world is dribbling skills. Most of the world’s best soccer players are known for having good dribbling skills.
Passing skills, ball control skills, and even communication skills are parts of the skills that soccer players ought to build to become the best in their position.
Also, team performance has a great contribution to individual performance rating. So, as a soccer player, you need to take team performance seriously.
Soccer players need to blend well with the team to get better with the tactics of the team.
There are some things that world-class players do that most times give them an advantage over their fellow players. One of those things is making your next move a big problem for the opponent to guess.
Staying unpredictable is a very good way by which a player can make their opponent pay dearly in a soccer match. Therefore, this is a very advisable tip for the attacking players of any team.
Neymar Jr is one of the best soccer players on the planet and there is no doubt about that. One of the ways by which he gets things done on a soccer pitch is by being unpredictable with the ball.
In order to become one of the best soccer players on the planet, there is a need for you to calculate the way your opponent will likely think and then manipulate them by taking the way your opponent will most likely not think about.
For instance, on any occasion in the middle of an intense attack flow, the opponent’s defenders are very particular about saving their teams from possible threats, which are most likely to come in the form of shots.
With this foreknowledge, attackers can take advantage of the opponent’s defenders by dribbling them.
This is most effective in most cases because, at an intense flow of attack, the next thing they will be expecting is a shot. But, when attackers dribble, there are possibilities of more space created close to the opponent’s goal which will help them get a goal easily.
This is even better to watch when the whole team is accustomed to playing counter-attack style. In the counter-attacking style of play, players are known for getting unpredictable.
Unpredictable players tend to spice up the match and terrify the opponents. In most cases, you get a chance to make a crucial decision for your team.
You can draw the opponent into committing a foul and win a set piece for your team. That will give your team an advantage over the opponent.
Build a good match intelligence
In order to become one of the best soccer players in the world, there is a necessary need for the soccer player to have a well-built match intelligence.
Most of the big names in soccer today are as a result of their intelligence on the soccer pitch. So, it is not news that the intelligence of a soccer player will give them a better opportunity to explore all their capacity on the pitch.
Truly, some soccer players are good and have a natural ability to play soccer. Still, their efforts on the pitch will only remain less productive or even average simply because they lack match intelligence.
Match intelligence helps a soccer player make the right decision on the soccer pitch. For example, match intelligence will give a soccer player an idea of when to make some passes, when to take some chances, how to position the body and so on.
Every soccer player needs match intelligence. It is not a commodity for the attacks alone. However, match intelligence is crucial for the attackers as it can help them position well for counter-attacks.
Also, match intelligence can help soccer players have perfect decision-making on the pitch, like shooting, dribbling, and passing. For the midfielders, there is a necessary need for match intelligence to become the best in the world.
Talking of the best midfielder in the whole world, we have names like N’golo Kante, the amazing French machine known for his energetic work rate, recoveries, and attacking prowess. These are only known about Ngolo Kante because of his intelligence as a player.
Another midfielder that will come to heart whenever the best in the world is mentioned is the Belgian maestro Kevin DeBruyne. He is known for his accurate passes, attacking prowess, and midfield control.
Xavi Hernandes, one of Spain’s greatest players, is also one of the rare gems that display match intelligence at its peak as a midfielder. Unlike many midfielders, Xavi is rather known for short passes, which are instrumental and accurate.
Due to the position of the midfielders, they seem to need match intelligence even more than the other position. Because they are important in the flow of attack, and in defense.
So considering this, the midfielders need to be aware of every opportunity and loophole to help the team convert opportunities to goals and cover up for the loopholes in defense.
Even as a defender who wants to be the best, there is a need for match intelligence. Match intelligence will help defenders spot the coming of the attack of the opponent. With intelligence, he or she will find the best way to stop it.
This can be seen in a legend like Thiago Silva, who is known to be a very good central defender. The Brazilian legend is known for exceptional tackles, which have made him one of the best players in the world playing in his position.
Many will come to a fast conclusion that goalkeepers do not need match intelligence like the other soccer players. But, that is not true. Goalkeepers need match intelligence to become the best they can be.
Positioning is a major aspect of goalkeeping and a goalkeeper who is intelligent—soccer-wise—will be able to get it right when it comes to positioning.
This can be seen in the way some of the best goalkeepers in the world handle one-on-one cases, the way they position themselves and try to pressurize the attacker of the opponents. This can only be a display of match intelligence.
Though it can be seen that match intelligence is very natural to some soccer players. It should also be noted that match intelligence can be built through a conscious and consistent effort to get better.
Even the soccer players who are allegedly referred to as naturally intelligent sharpen their intelligence consistently. That is why they only get better.
In order to build match intelligence, there is a need for a soccer player to get involved in the ritual of pitch scanning. Scanning the pitch will give the soccer player primary information, which they will be able to work with easily after receiving the ball or even to make decisions.
Information soccer players get after scanning the pitch includes the nearest opponent, the open spaces on the soccer pitch, the nearest teammate, the possible loophole for the defense, among many others.
After scanning the pitch, another activity that helps match intelligence is body positioning before making any decision on the pitch.
It should be noted that there are some ways you position your body that give you more opportunity to run forward. After scanning the pitch, it will only be wise to position your body in the best way that will help you respond to situations on the soccer pitch as a soccer player.
Paying close attention to this will ensure an increase in match performance, and hence, an increase in your rating as a soccer player.
Work on your speed
Speed is vital in several sports, but it is much more so in soccer because, as a soccer player, you spend the greater part of the game sprinting around the field.
As we will be discussing speed as a factor that can help you become the best soccer player in the world, it is much more than running up and down on the soccer pitch. While this is important, the ability to run at maximum speed for the duration of a game is what matters most.
As a defender, midfielder, or forward, speed is a very great asset you cannot underestimate. As a soccer player with the aim of getting to the highest peak, working on your speed is a very good investment that promises a good and bountiful yield if properly used.
In order to get the most out of their roles, most forwards, midfielders, and fullbacks need to be quick while they are with the ball. This does not mean that they must be lightning-fast, but they must be capable of dribbling at full pace.
It’s a difficult skill to learn (since you also have to master your dribbling skills), but it’s crucial since it prevents the defense from becoming complacent.
Take a look at some of the world’s top teams. They aren’t the fastest teams, but they are the most efficient with their pace.
Rather than waiting with the ball, players move it rapidly to maintain rhythm and confuse the opposition. These are also the teams that excel in counter-attacking because their players are eager to run both with or without the ball.
Likewise, even without the ball, if a soccer player aims at becoming the best in the world, they must also be able to make runs without the ball at their feet especially for offensive players who would like to be like Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.
The result of working on their speed makes it possible for them to be able to make some speedy runs without the ball to position themselves in an open space on the soccer pitch so they can pose a great threat to the defense of their opponent.
For a defensive player, apart from being intelligent, speed will help you to track down the attack launched by your opponents towards your goal post.
Many times, strikers and wingers are often very fast, and for the defender to catch up with them, they will need to be fast. So most times, what defenders do is make a sliding tackle, whereby they slide the ball off the attackers’ feet.
Even though speed is very important, some players are known to be slow. Still, they maximize their full potentials without having the blazing speed they could have hoped for. Some good examples are Pirlo, Oliver Giroud, Cesc Fabregas, and many others.
All these players are known for being amazing, but the fact remains that their game would have taken another turn if they had good speed. So, to be a complete player, having a good pace must be worked on.
Strength training has several advantages, including increased speed, which is something that all soccer players should consider.
While you won’t notice a significant increase in speed right away, you will feel more powerful when running and the impact on your speed will be seen with time.
Also, another way to increase your pace is to take speed drills which will help in improving your top speed. For example, you can take a short distance run, over and over again, trying to beat your top speed.
Also, while running, position your body properly. During the workout, make sure your arm movement is fluid and calm. Maintain close contact between your arms and your body. Concentrate on taking long, steady strides.
Maintain a calm and natural head posture. When you’ve completed sprinting, slowly jog or stroll back to your starting place.
You’ll need to stretch and use your knees, hip, and ankles to accelerate. Focus on taking long, steady steps that spread out when jogging or doing other workouts.
This will help in increasing your speed by helping you to lengthen your stride and increase your muscular output.
See yourself as the best
Another way through which you can help yourself become the best is by seeing yourself as such. The game of soccer will never forget Zlatan Ibrahimovich, the Swedish legend who, from his early stage in his career, has a vision of calling himself the best.
He is one of the few soccer players that has scored over 500 goals in their professional career. Even though some see him as proud or egoistic, the fact is that he sees himself as the best, he gives himself to proper training, and he comes to the soccer pitch to prove it.
There are a lot of soccer players who, due to loss of confidence in themselves, gave in to bad match performance. An example of that is Alvaro Morata’s during his Chelsea spell. Morata, at some point, was reported to be having psychological issues.
He lost trust in himself, and through that, he makes silly mistakes on the soccer pitch. But after the spell, he seems to have improved upon his return back to the Spanish La Liga.
Even Cristiano Ronaldo, who is arguably the best player to have graced the game, on many occasions has declared his aim since his very tender age to play as one of the greatest in the history of football.
With his training, good speed, intelligence, and of course, believing in himself, he has written his name in gold in the game of soccer.
Join a Professional team
Joining a professional team is one of the fundamental steps to take in the bid to become the world’s best soccer player.
Of course, it’s only logical that you play for a team and in competitive games to become one of the best players in the world.
There are several ways you can get into a professional team. You can get in by being scouted, going for trials, or even joining the academy team of the club you would like to join.
If you can prove your worth, there is a tendency for you to be called to the professional team.
There are also private soccer academies with great connections to big clubs that might also be another opportunity you might seize into a professional team.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Many soccer players will not become great or maximize all of their potential simply because they do not embrace a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, in order to remain fit and healthy, there is a need for soccer players to give themselves a healthy life.
As indicated by your team’s nutritionist, avoid eating junk food or any other kind of food that will not help your body. Also, avoid consuming substances like alcohol and drugs.
They are detrimental to your health as a soccer player who aims high.
Eating good food will help your body recover lost strength and supply you with the nutrients you need for your daily task as a soccer player.
Also, have a good rest, sleep, enjoy a good atmosphere with your loved ones while you are not at work. All these have a role in making you healthy, free of psychological or physical stress, and thereby giving you a better chance to prove your worth on the soccer pitch.
Becoming the best in the world is an accomplishable task. Do not give in to discouragement that it is not possible. Rather, start from wherever you are now and build the momentum up.
To become the best in the world, you need values that are specific to you. Hence it would be best if you practiced a lot. Moreover, practicing gives you a good opportunity to memorize steps, gain more strength physically, hone your skills, and many more.
It is also important to build an unpredictable decision-making character. This will always help you in terrifying the opponent whenever the ball is with you.
Great match intelligence is a compulsory requirement for any soccer player who aims at becoming the best in the world.
A soccer player needs to be fast. Despite the fact that there are exceptional players who do well even though they lack pace, they would have done much better if they were fast.
Another way to become the best is that you see yourself as such. In this case, Zlatan Ibrahimovich will always come to mind. He talks as the best and he proves it on the pitch.
Also, living a healthy lifestyle will boost fitness and match performance of players.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!