FSI Football Science Update

Effects of match contextual factors on internal and external load in elite Brazilian professional soccer players through the season.

Aquino R(1), Guimarães R(2)(3), Junior GOC(2), Clemente FM(4)(5)(6), García-Calvo T(7), Pulido JJ(8), Nobari H(9)(10)(11), Praça GM(12).

Sci Rep. 2022 Dec 9;12(1):21287. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-25903-x

This study on 22 elite Brazilian professional soccer players during 38 matches, over the 2021 season of the Brazilian National 1st Division League found that (i) matches played against weak opponents presented greater values of sprinting distances compared to matches against intermediate and strong opponents; (ii) players covered greater high-intensity running distances when drawing than winning the matches; (iii) mean speed relative to effective playing time differed with different coaches and correlated with positional attack sequences.


Alterations in biceps femoris long head fascicle length, Eccentric hamstring strength qualities and single-leg hop distance throughout the ninety minutes of TSAFT90 simulated football match.

Yagiz G(1), Dayala VK(1), Williams K(1), Owen JA(1), Kubis HP(1).

PLoS One. 2022 Dec 9;17(12):e0278222. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0278222. eCollection 2022

The occurrence of HSIs increases in the last fifteen minutes of both halves of football matches and shows an incremental trend towards the end of the ninety minutes. This study applied a ninety minutes of football simulation to 15 physically active participants finding large decrements immediately after the intervention in eccentric hamstrings strength and single-leg hip bridge performance.


Ability to return to sports after early lateral ligament repair of the ankle in 147 elite athletes.

Hong CC(1)(2), Calder J(3)(4).

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2022 Dec 8. doi: 10.1007/s00167-022-07270-2

This study on 147 elite athletes, 66% soccer players, who underwent a primary lateral ligament repair (modified Broström) for acute grade III injuries found that all athletes returned to sport at 9-10 weeks with a re-injury rate of 2%. Associated deltoid, syndesmosis injury and osteochondral lesions increased the return to sport time.


Influence of different playing styles among the top three teams on action zones in the World Cup in 2018 using a Markov state transition matrix.

Liu T(1), Zhou C(1), Shuai X(1), Zhang L(1)(2), Zhou J(3), Yang L(1)(4).

Front Psychol. 2022 Nov 18;13:1038733. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1038733. eCollection 2022

This study analyzed with a Markov transition matrix-based zone models the attacking patterns of France, Croatia and Belgium in 21 matches of the 2018 World Cup. Results revealed that flanker attacks were frequently taken among all three teams, and forward passes across/through zones toward the middle of attacking quarter have a positive impact of creating a chance of a goal.

Hamstring injury rates have increased during recent seasons and now constitute 24% of all injuries in men’s professional football: the UEFA Elite Club Injury Study from 2001/02 to 2021/22.

Ekstrand J, Bengtsson H, Waldén M, et al.

British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 06 December 2022. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2021-105407

This study on reported injuries from 54 teams from 2001/02 to 2021/22 found that the proportion of hamstrings injuries related with the rest of the injuries reported was 24% in the last season, in comparison with 12% reported during the first season 21 years earlier. In the last 7 seasons hamstring injury incidence in trainings increased a 6.7% annually, but the match hamstring injury incidence, about 11 times higher, kept more or less stable until an increase in the last season, but with no significantly increased hamstring injury burden.