FSI Football Science Update


Verbal Encouragement Improves Game Intensity, Technical Aspects, and Psychological Responses During Soccer-Specific Training.

Selmi O, Levitt DE, Aydi B, Ferhi W, Bouassida A.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2023 Apr 28:1-7. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2022-0435. Online ahead of print.

This study in male youth soccer players performing sessions of 4-per-side Small Sided Games SSG without a goalkeeper during 25 minutes (4 × 4-min work, 3-min passive recovery between bouts) on a 25 × 35-m pitch found that verbal encouragement induced higher HR (% maximum HR and mean HR), rating of perceived exertion, and Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale score (all d ≥ 0.92, large), increased percentage of successful passes (d = 0.73, medium) and number of interceptions (d = 0.89, large) and fewer lost balls (d = 0.68, medium).


Programming High-Speed and Sprint Running Exposure in Football: Beliefs and Practices of More Than 100 Practitioners Worldwide.

Dello Iacono A, Beato M, Unnithan VB, Shushan T.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2023 Apr 28:1-16. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2023-0013. Online ahead of print.

This study surveyed 102 football practitioners from 22 different countries revealed 5 main findings: (1) overall agreement on the importance of exposure for physical-capability development, preparation for competition, and injury-prevention strategies; (2) different exposure timing and selective training scheduling for starting and non-starting players; (3) lack of consensus on the conceptual constructs defining high-speed and sprint running metrics and the methodological procedures used for monitoring; (4) a probable association between match-related outcomes and exposure strategies used in training; and (5) a broad range of training methods considered effective to elicit exposure.


Low Pre-Season Hamstring-to-Quadriceps Strength Ratio Identified in Players Who Further Sustained In-Season Hamstring Strain Injuries: A Retrospective Study from a Brazilian Serie A Team.

Veeck F, Ruas CV, Pinto MD, Grazioli R, Cardoso GP, Albuquerque T, Schipper L, Valente HG, Santos VH, Dornelles M, Rabaldo P, Rocha CS, Baroni BM, Cadore EL, Pinto RS.

Sports (Basel). 2023 Apr 20;11(4):89. doi: 10.3390/sports11040089.

This retrospective study from a Brazilian Serie A professional male football squad found that in a particular season ten out of seventeen (~59%) sustained HSI. The examen of the pre-season H:Q ratios found that the isokinetic H:Q conventional (CR) and functional (FR) ratios of the injured players were ~18-22% lower, in relationship with a quadriceps concentric PT ~25% greater.


The seven phases of match status differentiate the running performance of soccer players in UEFA Champions League.

Konefał M, Radzimiński Ł, Chmura J, Modrić T, Zacharko M, Padrón-Cabo A, Sekulic D, Versic S, Chmura P.

Sci Rep. 2023 Apr 24;13(1):6675. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-33910-9.

This study involved professional soccer players from 24 teams participating in the group stage of UEFA Champions League in season 2020/21. The match status was divided into seven phases that result in changing or maintaining the match outcome: DW (Drawing to Winning); LD (Losing to Drawing); WW (Winning to Winning); DD (Drawing to Drawing); LL (Losing to Losing); DL (Drawing to Losing); WD (Winning to Drawing). Players covered the longest distance (between 111 and 123 m min-1) in DW, DL and DD phases, so when the result was a draw. The highest high-intensity running was recorded during phases: DW, DL and LL. In contrast, the lowest total distance and high-intensity running were covered during WD phase.