Is it allowed in Islam for someone to be a professional football player and play for European clubs?
Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzan hafidhuhallah was asked:
May Allah be good to you, possessor of Virtue. He says: what is the ruling on practicing soccer and what is the ruling on the salary which the players earn from the clubs for this game?
The salary or the prize? In any case, if he establishes the obligations, covers his awrah, covers his private parts, and it is a fixed time not a lot wasting time, then if a person working with this game fulfills these conditions, there is no harm. If it does not busy from the prayers and the obligations and it is not a lot such that a person spends all his time with the profession of soccer and the awrah is not exposed. With these conditions, it is permissible. If these conditions are not met, it is not allowed. As for the salary for this, it depends on the fulfillment of this conditions. As for playing soccer with these conditions, then there is no harm in the salary. However, taking a profession that is more noble and virtuous is better for him.
However, Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah rahimahullah considered taking games as a profession for money impermissible. He said:
As for the third type, it is permissible because even though taking wealth for it is haram, it is not haram because of the harm that is against him. Rather it is haram to take money for it as a barrier from busying the soul with it and taking it as a way of earning, especially if it is a game or amusement that is light on the souls. So the desire towards it will intensify from both ways [I.e. by enjoying the game itself and also by making money from it]. So his soul will make it permissible because it is an assistance and relaxation for the soul. Taking money for it [games and amusement] is haram so that a person does not take it as habit, profession, and business. So this is the wisdom of the Shariah and its consideration of the benefits and the harms…
[Taken from AlFurusiyyah pg. 247-248]
So it is better to avoid this profession, although it is permissible if certain conditions are met.
And Allah Knows Best
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan