FSI Football Science Update

Influence of Tactical Behaviour on Running Performance in The Three Most Successful Soccer Teams During the Competitive Season of The Spanish First Division.

Asian-Clemente J, Suarez-Arrones L, Requena B, Santalla A.

J Hum Kinet. 2022 Apr 26;82:135-144. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2022-0040.

This study analyzes the influence of tactical behavior on physical performance of the three best Spanish soccer teams: Team 1 employed a 1-4-4-2 formation with compact defence and direct attacks, Team 2 employed an indirect style of play with a 1-4-3-3 formation and Team 3 used a 1-4-3-3 formation with elaborate attacks and strong counter-attacks. The analysis of 816 individual situations of 54 professional soccer players found that Team 2 covered a substantially lower distance >14 km·h-1 than Team 1 and Team 3. No differences in running activity were found between Teams 1 and 3. In Team 1, Central Defenders covered the lowest distance by a substantial margin, whereas Midfielders travelled substantially greater distances than did other positions, and Wide Midfielders covered the greatest distance >18 km·h- 1. In Team 2, Strikers had the lowest distance covered, and Wide Midfielders had the greatest distance covered in possession. In Team 3, Full Backs in Team 3 showed the lowest total distance covered and distance covered >14km·h-1, while Strikers had the greatest distance covered out of possession. The results indicate that different team formations and associated tactical demands have a significant influence on running performance.


Neurodegenerative disease risk among former international rugby union players.

Russell ER, Mackay DF, Lyall D, Stewart K, MacLean JA, Robson J, Pell JP, Stewart W.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2022 Oct 4:jnnp-2022-329675. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2022-329675.

This retrospective cohort study on 412 male Scottish former international rugby union players and 1236 members of the general population, matched by age, sex and area socioeconomic status found that all-cause mortality was lower among former rugby players until 70 years of age with no difference thereafter. 11.4% former rugby players and 5.4% of the comparison group were diagnosed with incident neurodegenerative disease (HR 2.67). This study adds to our understanding of the association between contact sports participation and the risk of neurodegenerative disease.


Repeat Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury and Return to Sport in Australian Soccer Players After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction With Hamstring Tendon Autograft.

Manara JR, Salmon LJ, Kilani FM, Zelaya de Camino G, Monk C, Sundaraj K, Pinczewski LA, Roe JP.

Am J Sports Med. 2022 Oct 3:3635465221125467. doi: 10.1177/03635465221125467.

This Case-control study on 862 soccer players with ACL Reconstruction using hamstring autograft found that 70% of patients returned to soccer. ACL graft rupture occurred in 10% and contralateral ACL rupture in 8% within 5 years after the reconstruction. The odds of ACL graft rupture were increased by 4 to 5 times in those aged 19 to 25 years and 3 to 7 times in those ≤18 years. Further ACL injury to the graft or contralateral knee occurred in 44% of males aged ≤18 years. Risk factors for further ACL injury were younger age at time of surgery, male sex, and return to soccer. Graft diameter did not influence ACL graft rupture rates.


Contextual variables affect peak running performance in elite soccer players: A brief report.

Augusto D, Brito J, Aquino R, Paulucio D, Figueiredo P, Bedo BLS, Touguinhó D, Vasconcellos F.

Front Sports Act Living. 2022 Sep 16;4:966146. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2022.966146.

This GPS study on 20 players of an elite soccer team during 29 matches of the Brazilian Serie A 2019 found that peak physical performance was higher in away matches for high-intensity running, acceleration, and deceleration. In matches that ended in losses, peak values for high-intensity running and acceleration were higher compared to draws and wins. Regarding the match instantaneous status, higher values were observed in draws than when winning or losing. Peak running performance vary according to contextual variables of the match in male elite soccer players.