FSI Football Science Update


Epidemiology of Football Injuries of the German Bundesliga: A Media-Based, Prospective Analysis over 7 Consecutive Seasons.

Aus der Fünten K, Tröß T, Hadji A, Beaudouin F, Steendahl IB, Meyer T.

Sports Med Open. 2023 Mar 3;9(1):20. doi: 10.1186/s40798-023-00563-x

This study used the sport-specific journal “kicker Sportmagazin™” complemented by further publicly available media data to describe the injury incidence of the 1st male German football league (“Bundesliga”) during 7 consecutive seasons (2014/15-2020/21). The total injury incidence rate per 1000 football hours was 5.5, 25.9 in matches, and 3.4 in training. 24% of the injuries affected the thigh, 15% the knee, and 13% the ankle. Muscle/tendon injuries contributed 49%. Compared to studies using injury reports from the clubs’ medical staff, media data revealed similar proportional distributions of the injuries, but the incidence rates tended towards the lower ends.


Energy expenditure, dietary intake and energy availability in female professional football players.

Dasa MS, Friborg O, Kristoffersen M, Pettersen G, Plasqui G, Sundgot-Borgen JK, Rosenvinge JH.

BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2023 Feb 23;9(1):e001553. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2023-001553. eCollection 2023.

This prospective study on 51 professional female footballers during 14 days found that the mean daily energy expenditure for all players was 2918 kcal. while the mean energy intake was 2274 kcal, resulting in a discrepancy of ~22%. Carbohydrate intake was below the recommended guidelines on match day at 4.5±1.9 g/kg. The mean energy availability was 36.7 kcal/kg FFM/day on matchday and 37.9 kcal/kg FFM/day on training days, resulting in a prevalence of 36% and 23% for low energy availability, respectively.


Speed-Related Abilities Are Similarly Improved After Sled Training Under Different Magnitudes of Velocity Loss in Highly Trained Soccer Players.

Grazioli R, Loturco I, Veeck F, Setuain I, Zandavalli LA, Inácio M, Pinto RS, Cadore EL.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2023 Jan 1:1-8. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2022-0354. Online ahead of print.

This study compared 11 soccer players that trained during 8 weeks with sled loads that induced 15% velocity loss VL relative to unloaded sprint velocity, with 10 players who trained with sled loads that induced 40% VL. Both groups similarly improved 10-m sprint, curve sprint, and change-of-direction speed, and not jump. Analysis revealed meaningful individual changes in both groups, so resisted-sprint training responses may differ meaningfully when assessed on an individual basis.


Effect of additional Nordic hamstring exercise or sprint training on the modifiable risk factors of hamstring strain injuries and performance.

Ripley NJ, Cuthbert M, Comfort P, McMahon JJ.

PLoS One. 2023 Mar 2;18(3):e0281966. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0281966. eCollection 2023

This study compared 3 groups of collegiate athletes, one with a standardized 7-week, twice a week, lower-limb training program, other with additional nordic hamstrings exercise, and other with additional sprint training. All training groups demonstrated significant, small-moderate increases in biceps femoris architecture, small-large increases in absolute and relative hamstrings eccentric peak force, and small increases in take-off velocity and mean propulsion force. Nordic and sprint training groups had further and similar small improvements in peak absolute and relative net force, and 0-10 m, 0-20 m, and 10-20 m sprint time.


High-speed running and sprinting in professional adult soccer: Current thresholds definition, match demands and training strategies. A systematic review.

Gualtieri A, Rampinini E, Dello Iacono A, Beato M.

Front Sports Act Living. 2023 Feb 13;5:1116293. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2023.1116293. eCollection 2023

This systematic review of 30 resultant studies found that, to date, there is no consensus on the absolute thresholds defining high-speed and sprint running in adult soccer players. Relative velocity thresholds could be considered for specific training sessions whose goal is to reach near maximal velocity exposure. During official matches, high-speed and sprint running distances as defined in each study were 911-1063 m and 223-307 m, respectively, for professional female soccer players, and 618-1001 m and 153-295 m, respectively, for professional male soccer players. During training, game-based drills designed in formats using relative areas per player greater than 225 m2 and 300 m2 appear to be adequate for achieving high-speed running and sprinting exposure, respectively, for male players. The combination of game-based, running exercises and soccer circuit-based drills is advisable to ensure adequate high-speed and sprint running exposure.


How do soccer players sprint from a tactical context? Observations of an English Premier League soccer team.

Caldbeck P, Dos’Santos T.

J Sports Sci. 2023 Feb 27:1-12. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2023.2183605. Online ahead of print

This study analyzed videos of 901 sprints (≥7.0 m/s) in 10 matches of an English Premier League (EPL) soccer team during match-play using the Football Sprint Tactical-Context Classification System that describes the phase of play and the tactical outcome TO of the sprints. Most sprints were completed out-possession (58%), with “closing down” the most observed TO (28%). In-possession, “run the channel” (25%) was the most observed TO. Centre backs predominantly performed “ball down the side” sprints (31%), whereas central midfielders mostly performed “covering” sprints (31%). Central forwards and wide midfielders mostly performed “closing down” (23% and 21%) and “run the channel” (23% and 16%) sprints when out- and in-possession, respectively. Full backs most frequently performed “recovery” and “overlap” runs (14% each).


Knee Joint Contact Forces during High-Risk Dynamic Tasks: 90° Change of Direction and Deceleration Movements.

Cassiolas G, Di Paolo S, Marchiori G, Grassi A, Della Villa F, Bragonzoni L, Visani A, Giavaresi G, Fini M, Zaffagnini S, Lopomo NF.

Bioengineering (Basel). 2023 Jan 31;10(2):179. doi: 10.3390/bioengineering10020179

In this study 31 competitive soccer players performed a deceleration and 90° sidestepping task assessed via 3D motion analysis using a marker-based optoelectronic system. The tibiofemoral medial and lateral contact forces were calculated by OpenSim software. A strong correlation was found between compartmental forces and changes in frontal plane alignment. Medial and lateral forces were similar throughout most of the tasks with the exception of the initial phase of the action, where the lateral compartment had to withstand higher loadings. Significant sex differences emerged in the late phase of the deceleration phase.