Anthropometric and fitness profiles of elite players in two football codes

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2002 Jun;42(2):239-42.


Background: The aims were to describe anthropometric and performance characteristics of elite players in two football codes and explore the differences between them.

Methods: Data were compared by means of "t"-tests.

Subjects: subjects were 19 professional soccer players and 33 inter-county Gaelic football players.

Settings: measurements were made on members of a Premier League soccer team throughout their regular season, whilst the Gaelic footballers were members of the Mayo squad preparing for the 1999 All-Ireland championship.

Results: The variability in stature was significantly greater in the soccer players compared to the Gaelic footballers (p<0.01). Performances in the 10-m and 30-m sprints, and in vertical jump were superior in the soccer group compared to the Gaelic footballers (p<0.01).

Conclusions: The intra-group variability on the anthropometric and performance measures of the soccer players is likely to be due to the specificity of positional roles. The combined groups could be described as lean and muscular with a reasonably high level of capacity in all areas of physical performance. Anaerobic characteristics of the professional soccer players were superior to those of Gaelic football players. It is concluded that anthropometric and performance assessment of elite footballers using mean values masks the heterogeneity evident within the football codes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anaerobic Threshold
  • Anthropometry*
  • Football / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Soccer / physiology*