FSI Football Science Update


The Safe Landing warm up technique modification programme: An effective anterior cruciate ligament injury mitigation strategy to improve cutting and jump-movement quality in soccer players.

Olivares-Jabalera J, Fílter A, Dos Santos T, Ortega-Domínguez J, Soto Hermoso VM, Requena B.

J Sports Sci. 2023 Mar 23:1-11. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2023.2193451. Online ahead of print

This study in 32 male semi-professional football players found that Safe Landing, a 6-week technique-modification programme, medium-to-largely improved the 70º change of direction (COD70) assessed by the Cutting Movement Assessment Score (CMAS) and the Drop Jump landings assessed by the Landing Error Scoring System.


The relative age effect is widespread among European adult professional soccer players but does not affect their market value.

Bezuglov E, Morgans R, Butovskiy M, Emanov A, Shagiakhmetova L, Pirmakhanov B, Waśkiewicz Z, Lazarev A.

PLoS One. 2023 Mar 23;18(3):e0283390. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0283390. eCollection 2023.

This study on all adult male soccer players included in the final rosters of teams from the top-division of 54 European countries, listed on www.transfermarkt.com on August 15th, 2020, (18,429 soccer players in total), categorized into four groups according to the quarter of birth (Q) and playing position, found that the percentage of soccer players born in Q1 was highest in clubs that are among the top 50 ranked in UEFA or compete in the most prestigious European championships, and decreased as the level of competition decreased. However, there was no significant difference in market value between players playing position and level of competition when born in different quarters, although the most expensive soccer players in the European championships were late-born forwards.


High-level soccer players have a low rate of return to performance after hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement syndrome.

Sjövall Anari S, Olsson A, Öhlin A, Desai N, Senorski EH, Sansone M, Lindman I.

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2023 Mar 22. doi: 10.1007/s00167-023-07336-9. Online ahead of print

This study on 83 high-level soccer players undergoing hip arthroscopy for Femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS) in Gothenburg found that in the first or second season after surgery 85.5% of the players returned to sport, but only 37.3% returned to the performance of the season before symptom onset, and only 38.6% returned to the performance of the season before surgery, in terms of level of play and number of games played.


How are hamstring strain injuries managed in elite men’s football clubs? A survey with 62 Brazilian physical therapists.

Valente HG, Oliveira RR, Baroni BM.

Phys Ther Sport. 2023 Mar 4;61:73-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2023.03.001. Online ahead of print.

This cross-sectional study by online survey of 62 physical therapists belonging to clubs engaged in the two main divisions of Brazilian men’s football found that all respondents use imaging exams, adopt injury classification scales, and evaluate aspects related to pain, range of motion, muscle strength, and functional status of athletes with Hamsrings Strain Injuries. All respondents usually apply electrophysical agents and stretching in HSI rehabilitation programs, 98.4% apply strengthening exercises (93.5% include eccentrics), 96.8% manual therapy, 95.2% exercises that mimic the functional demands of football, and 93.5% lumbopelvic stabilization exercises. Muscle strength was the most reported return to play criterion (71% of respondents).


The Effect of cam and pincer morphology on hamstring injury rates and return to play in elite young male football players.

Dinç E, Arslan S, Akıkol M.

Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2023 Jan;57(1):36-39. doi: 10.5152/j.aott.2023.22115.

This study in 75 elite young male football players followed through 6 seasons found that the rate of hamstring injuries was significantly higher in the players with radiological cam and pincer morphology than in those without.


Neurodegenerative disease among male elite football (soccer) players in Sweden: a cohort study.

Ueda P, Pasternak B, Lim CE, Neovius M, Kader M, Forssblad M, Ludvigsson JF, Svanström H.

Lancet Public Health. 2023 Apr;8(4):e256-e265. doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(23)00027-0. Epub 2023 Mar 16.

This cohort study on 6007 male football players (amateurs and professionals) who had played at least one game in the Swedish top division Allsvenskan from Aug 1, 1924 to Dec 31, 2019, matched with up to 10 controls from the general population according to sex, age, and region of residence, found that the risk of neurodegenerative disease was higher among football players (hazard ratio [HR] 1.46), with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias more common among football players (HR 1.62), but with no differences observed for motor neuron disease (HR 1.27), and with Parkinson’s disease less common among football players (HR 0.68). The risk increase was observed among outfield players, but not among goalkeepers.