FSI Football Science Update


Perspectives on Postmatch Fatigue From 300 Elite European Soccer Players.

Di Salvo V(1)(2), Bonanno D(3), Modonutti M(2), Scanavino A(2), Donatelli C(2), Pigozzi F(1), Lolli L(4).

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2022 Dec 15:1-6. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2022-0200. Online ahead of print

This study used a short survey on post-match fatigue answered by 300 football players from top-division European clubs. Two-thirds of respondents (67%) indicated higher post-match fatigue perceived 2 days (48 h) after an official competition. Approximately two-thirds of respondents (63%) indicated more than usual and much more than usual perceived post-match fatigue following away matches, indicating the need for dedicated recovery protocols within 48 hours post-match and differential strategies addressing the additional burden of away matches and travel.


The effect of exercise-induced fatigue and heat exposure on soccer-specific decision-making during high-intensity intermittent exercise.

Donnan KJ(1), Williams EL(2), Stanger N(2).

PLoS One. 2022 Dec 15;17(12):e0279109. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0279109. eCollection 2022

In this study, 9 well-trained male soccer players completed a 92-min cycling intermittent sprint protocol (CISP), whilst simultaneously responding to a series of soccer-specific decision-making trials at various time points, in two temperature conditions: hot (32°C, 50%rh) and temperate (18°C, 50%rh). Results showed that in the hot compared to the temperate condition decision-making score was impaired, the workload in the second half was reduced, more unpleasant feelings were experienced, plasma normetanephrine (NMET) was higher at half-time, and plasma metanephrine (MET) was higher post-intervention. These findings highlight the need for practitioners to consider the detrimental effects heat exposure can have on both physical and decision-making performance when looking to facilitate performance in hot conditions.


Epidemiology of Upper Limb Injuries in two major Brazilian Soccer Championships from 2016 to 2019.

de Souza Lima EB(1), de Godoy GP(2), Osés GL(2), Lara PHS(2), Ribeiro LM(2), Andreoli CV(2), de Castro Pochini A(2), Belangero PS(2), Arliani GG(2), Ejnisman B(2), Cohen M(2).

J Exp Orthop. 2022 Dec 14;9(1):120. doi: 10.1186/s40634-022-00560-1

This epidemiological study  in two major Brazilian soccer championships between 2016 and 2019 analysing 3,828 matches and 126,357 hours of play found that upper limb injuries represented 6.8% of total injuries, with a FIFA incidence of 1.34. Most lesions occurred in forward players (21.3%), and the shoulder exhibited the highest number of injuries (63.3%). The average time to return to play was 19.1 days (range 0-200 days) and it was longer for goalkeepers.


A survey of organizational structure and operational practices of elite youth football academies and national federations from around the world: A performance and medical perspective.

Gregson W(1)(2), Carling C(3)(4), Gualtieri A(5)(6), O’Brien J(7), Reilly P(8), Tavares F(9), Bonanno D(1), Lopez E(1), Marques J(10)(11), Lolli L(1)(2), Salvo VD(1)(12).

Front Sports Act Living. 2022 Nov 23;4:1031721. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2022.1031721. eCollection 2022

This study based on a survey answered by 10 national federations and 25 clubs found that the majority (60%-90%) of clubs and national federations reported strategic alignment between senior and academy medical and performance units, with a substantial heterogeneity in the composition and number of medical and performance professionals employed in academies, 56%-80% agreed their medical and performance departments were effective in utilizing staff knowledge and external sources of knowledge to inform their practice. Performance staff (40%-50%) and physiotherapists (30%-32%) were deemed most influential in injury prevention programmes. During the return-to-play process, the influence of specific practitioners was dependent upon the phase of return-to-play. Shared decision-making was common practice in injury prevention and return-to-play processes. Medical and performance data were generally centralized across the first team and academy in majority (50%-72%) of clubs and national federations. Data were integrated within the same data management system to a higher degree in clubs (68%) vs. national federations (40%). Research and development activity were reported for most academies (50%-72%), and generally led by the head of performance (37%) or team doctor (21%).


Muscle Architecture, Morphology, and Mechanical and Functional Properties of Biceps Femoris Long Head in Professional Soccer Players with a Prior Healed Injured Hamstring.

Nuñez FJ(1), Ritzmann R(2), Hernandez-Abad F(3), Martinez JC(4), Suarez-Arrones L(1)(5).

J Clin Med. 2022 Dec 5;11(23):7222. doi: 10.3390/jcm11237222

This study with Ultrasound imaging and the muscle tonometer MyotonPRO in 20 elite soccer players found that previously hamstrings- injured players showed substantially lower fascicle length and muscle thickness, and significantly higher biceps femoris long head stiffness than uninjured players, bilaterally without differences between limbs.


Using the Conceptual Framework for Examining Sport Teams to Understand Group Dynamics in Professional Soccer.

González-Ponce I(1), Díaz-García J(2), Ponce-Bordón JC(2), Jiménez-Castuera R(2), López-Gajardo MA(2).

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Nov 27;19(23):15782. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192315782

In this study, 581 professional soccer players (356 males and 225 females) completed a questionnaire assessing group dynamics variables. Coach leadership predicted coaching competency and perceived justice, and both competency and justice predicted role ambiguity and role conflict. Furthermore, role ambiguity and role conflict predicted group cohesion and team conflict, whereas group cohesion and team conflict both predicted the transactive memory system. Finally, collective efficacy is predicted by the transactive memory system. The results suggest the importance of coach behaviour (leadership, justice, and competency) and group processes to improving team functioning in a professional sports context.


The keys of pressing to gain the ball – Characteristics of defensive pressure in elite soccer using tracking data.

Forcher L(1), Forcher L(1)(2), Altmann S(1)(3), Jekauc D(1), Kempe M(4).

Sci Med Footb. 2022 Dec 10. doi: 10.1080/24733938.2022.2158213. Online ahead of print

This study assessed tracking and event data of 153 games of the German Bundesliga (second half of 2020/21 season). Defensive pressure is higher in successful defensive plays compared to unsuccessful defensive plays, it is higher in areas closer to the ball, and closer to the end of a defensive play, which is especially true for successful defensive plays. There is an association between the pressing of the ball-carrier and areas close to the ball with the success of defensive play.