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When speaking of playing a game or sport, you are generally correct. While it is considered okay to use "jugar" as a transitive verb with sports in some parts of Latin America, that only applies regionally and not generally in Spanish. That said, you can use "jugar" as a transitive verb in other situations and then the meaning is closer to betting or playing a hand/card, etc. Finally, you can also play a match/game (jugar un partido).
There's more info here, from RAE.
The Spanish infinitive can translate to the infinitive [to play] or gerund [playing] in English. You have to use context clues to figure outwhich one is best for each situation.
In this particular situation, the infinitive form sounds terrible. You would go with the gerund form.
I don't think it is ungrammatical. However, "interested" is more often followed by "in" than "to" with action verbs. In other words, the gerund is more common than the infinitive when used with "to be interested."
You will hear, for example, "I'm interested to hear what you think," or "I'm interested to see how it looks," and so on. Here, however, it is much more common to say "I'm interested IN playING something."
Interesar is conjugated as a normal verb, but what's changing things here is the the object pronoun me.
Without the me it would be the he/she/it/you (usted) conjugation interesa - it interests. So what this sentence is really saying in literal translation:
It interests me to play at the football
That's not particularly good English grammar, so it gets changed to:
I'm interested in playing football.
It's important to remember that quite often you can't make literal Spanish to English translations.