FSI Football Science Update


High-intensity Actions in Elite Soccer: Current Status and Future Perspectives.

Filter A, Olivares-Jabalera J, Dos’Santos T, Madruga M, Lozano J, Molina A, Santalla A, Requena B, Loturco I.

Int J Sports Med. 2023 May 2. doi: 10.1055/a-2013-1661. Online ahead of print.

Traditionally, the reductionist approach commonly used to analyze high-intensity actions does not contemplate a more contextualized perspective on soccer performance. Most investigations have only provided quantitative data regarding sprints (i. e. time, distances, frequency) without examining “how” (e. g. type of trajectory or starting position) and “why” (e. g. tactical role) soccer players sprint. Frequently, other high-intensity actions, apart from running, are not even mentioned (i. e. curve sprints, change of direction, and specific-jump tasks). This has led to the use of tests and interventions that do not accurately reflect real game actions. This narrative review on current soccer-related articles provides a discussion regarding high-intensity actions attending to positional and tactical characteristics.


Incidence of football injuries sustained on artificial turf compared to grass and other playing surfaces: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Kuitunen I, Immonen V, Pakarinen O, Mattila VM, Ponkilainen VT.

EClinicalMedicine. 2023 Apr 13;59:101956. doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2023.101956. eCollection 2023 May.

This systematic review on 22 final studies found that men and women had lower injury incidence on artificial turf. Professional players had a lower incidence of injury on artificial turf, whereas there was no evidence of differences in amateur players. The incidence of pelvis/thigh, and knee injuries were lower on artificial turf. The overall incidence of football injuries is lower on artificial turf than on grass.


Association between internal load responses and recovery ability in U19 professional soccer players: A machine learning approach.

Pillitteri G, Rossi A, Simonelli C, Leale I, Giustino V, Battaglia G.

Heliyon. 2023 Apr 13;9(4):e15454. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e15454. eCollection 2023 Apr.

This study on 22 U19 professional soccer players analyzed the relationship between internal training load measured by rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and recovery and availability subjective players’ readiness status measured through the TreS scale. Recovery and availability are related to their past day values. RPE was found to be negatively affected by recovery and availability of the current day. RPE negatively affects recovery and availability of the next day.


Effects of plyometric training on kicking performance in soccer players: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Zhang Y, Li D, Gómez-Ruano MÁ, Memmert D, Li C, Fu M.

Front Physiol. 2023 Apr 13;14:1072798. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2023.1072798. eCollection 2023.

This systematic review on a final total of 16 studies showed that plyometric training had a large-sized positive effect on soccer kicking performance, irrespectively of the participants’ characteristics (i.e., age, gender, skill level) and intervention duration.


Most modifiable risk factors for hamstring muscle injury in women’s elite football are extrinsic and associated with the club, the team, and the coaching staff and not the players themselves: the UEFA Women’s Elite Club Injury Study.

Ekstrand J, Hallén A, Marin V, Gauffin H.

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2023 May 1. doi: 10.1007/s00167-023-07429-5. Online ahead of print.

This survey on 11 chief medical officers (CMOs) of European women’s professional football clubs about 21 suggested modifiable risk factors for hamstring injury, most of them extrinsic, found that those with highest importance were: “lack of communication between medical staff and coaching staff” and “load on players”, followed by “lack of regular exposure to high-speed football actions during training” and “playing matches 2-3 times a week”. The coaching factors were perceived as more important by the CMOs of the teams with higher numbers of hamstrings injuries.