Biology and medicine of soccer: an update

J Sports Sci. 1999 Oct;17(10):757-86. doi: 10.1080/026404199365498.


Recent literature on the biology and medicine of soccer (primarily since 1990) has been accumulated by a combination of computer searching of relevant databases and review of the author's extensive files. From a total of 9681 papers, 540 were selected for closer scrutiny and 370 are discussed in the present review. These articles cover patterns of play and the resulting energy demands, the nutritional requirements of soccer, the anthropometric, physiological, biochemical and immunological characteristics of successful players, the influence of environmental stressors (heat, cold, hypoxia and time zone shifts), special features of female and junior competitors, selected issues in training, and the incidence and prevention of injuries. The information presented has important implications for the safety and success of soccer players; the challenge is now to ensure that this information is understood and acted upon by coaches and individual team members.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Biochemical Phenomena
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Cold Temperature
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Immunity
  • Incidence
  • Jet Lag Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Medicine
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology
  • Safety
  • Soccer / education
  • Soccer / injuries
  • Soccer / physiology*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology