How to be a soccer scout in 2021?

Football fans talk and debate a lot about which players should sign their clubs so that they can win trophies, leagues, Champions, climb the division, etc. but always with the aim of reinforcing and improving the squad.

We spend many hours thinking not only about who is the best player in the world now, but also who will be the future star of the team. Who will be the new Christian? Has the new Messi been found yet? Identifying future stars is the job of the soccer scout.

Most professional clubs in Spain and in the world have used soccer scouts or scouts for decades. The transfer market has been evolving thanks to Sports Big Data and it continues to be one of the most important jobs for a football club to be able to prepare well for its next incorporations.

In this post, we interview David Viejo, a soccer scout with many years of experience in Spain and internationally. He is also a Doctor in CCAFYD and Director of the Master in Soccer Management at the Real Madrid University School.

WHAT IS A SOCCER SCOUT?

The scout or football scout is a person who is dedicated to watching football matches as his profession to find players who can join a club so that the club or team has more success in its results.

WHAT IS LIFE LIKE FOR SOCCER SCOUTS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?

The life of soccer scouts is complicated from the organizational point of view of their lives, since soccer does not have holidays and the schedules do not help the family-work conciliation, there are no days off since there are always games to watch or make reports of the games you have seen or the players you are following.

The normality is to visualize between 4 and 5 games a day, looking at two or three players per game and when there is grassroots football during the weekend it starts at 9 in the morning in the first games and ends on Sunday at 23: 00 with the latest First Division matches to be able to view the maximum number of matches live. There is a great difference in viewing the matches live that, through video, with camera shooting and television editing, there are many actions and many behaviors of the players that are decisive and are lost since you cannot capture everything with the angles of the cameras, nor the sound.

For this reason, it is a vocational passionate work that requires an organization and mental strength, since there are no parties or bridges or vacations during the year and also when the season is over you have to organize the new one and that is where the signings are finalized and It is a period that lowers the load of live matches, but increases the urgency of making reports and getting up-to-the-minute information.

WHAT TYPES OF SOCCER SCOUTS ARE THERE? YOU DON’T JUST LOOK AT THE TRANSFER MARKET, RIGHT?

More than type of scouts, there are different functions and ranks, so to speak, the people who dominate the international market, who are scouts who look for players outside their own country and have a slightly different day-to-day since I know if they are not in the country. The target group must first filter the players, since when they move they have to take advantage of and choose well live which players are the ones to view and why.

Another profile is the zone coordinator or scout coordinators who are in charge of organizing and deciding what the club needs and from there, that the rest of the scouts follow the path or plan to follow.

Another different would be the category scout that specializes in recognizing the needs they have in different leagues or categories and that they do not see other leagues or competitions.

And finally, that the scout is not the data specialist who is dedicated to finding and searching what are the KPIs of the players and from there select which ones are adjusted to the needs of the club. It really is the only profile that needs another type of training and with a different vision and that is further from the reality of the game and that if he does not know the player, no matter how much he masters the tools, he will not be able to perform his role well.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE WORKING IN YOUTH SOCCER AND IN THE QUARRIES, WHAT DOES A SOCCER SCOUT LOOK AT IN A CHILD?

The most important thing is to look at the potential that the player has to develop in a certain club, he has to know very well the club or clubs for which he works and to know where football is going and to be able to look for if some of the characteristics that they will be necessary in that player that they are going to see.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO BE A SOCCER SCOUT? WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO STUDY?

The fundamental requirement for any scout is to have a deep knowledge about football, it is necessary to be a specialist in the styles of play and in determining the profiles of the players, and to understand and know the training and training processes to be able to understand if They will adapt and thus know the transition between clubs and the transition between categories.

He should first study the coach licenses at least two of them and then go analyzing football and doing different courses or specific masters where the knowledge of how the different clubs work and what are the game trends of the teams is expanded since Without deep knowledge and without being a specialist in the game, in the training process and in the determination of profiles, it will never be possible to evolve or be a good scout.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR THE SOCCER SCOUTS OF THE FUTURE?

That they watch many matches of different competitions and football categories that are for a time coaches of different categories and that they always have a very great commitment and even if they do not have an adequate initial remuneration for the investment of time they make, if they do it well for a long time Time will always be able to find an opportunity but for this you have to be very prepared and for a long time to do it very well and for this it is essential to be in continuous learning through knowledge updates and exchange with other colleagues in the profession.