Soccer injuries: a review on incidence and prevention

Sports Med. 2004;34(13):929-38. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200434130-00004.


Several investigators have studied the incidence and causes of soccer injuries in male professional players; however, epidemiological data on injuries in female soccer players are limited. From the data presented, it can be estimated that, on average, every elite male soccer player incurs approximately one performance-limiting injury each year. Nine studies on the prevention of soccer injuries were found in the literature. There is some evidence that multi-modal intervention programmes result in a general reduction in injuries. Ankle sprains can be prevented by external ankle supports and proprioceptive/coordination training, especially in athletes with previous ankle sprains. With regard to severe knee injuries, the results of prevention studies are partly inconclusive; however, training of neuromuscular and proprioceptive performance as well as improvement of jumping and landing technique seem to decrease the incidence of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in female athletes. Prevention programmes are likely to be more effective in groups with an increased risk of injury. More methodologically well-designed studies are required to evaluate the effects of specific preventive interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Injuries / epidemiology
  • Ankle Injuries / prevention & control
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Knee Injuries / epidemiology
  • Knee Injuries / prevention & control
  • Soccer / injuries*