Effects of physical efforts on injury in elite soccer

Int J Sports Med. 2010 Mar;31(3):180-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1241212. Epub 2009 Dec 18.


In this study, the influence of physical efforts on occurrence of match injury in a professional soccer club was investigated. Computerised motion-analysis was used to measure the physical efforts of players during 10 injury situations. Total distance and those covered at different movement intensities were measured across the 5-min period preceding injury. If the final run preceding injury involved a high-intensity action (HIA), the distance, duration and speed of the effort and the recovery time between this and the penultimate HIA were measured. To determine the influence of these physical efforts, the results were compared to a normative profile for players computed from data across 5 games for the same variables; habitual distances covered over a 5-min period and characteristics of and recovery time between HIA. Compared to the normative profile, no differences were reported in physical characteristics during the period leading up to injury or for HIA although the latter were substantially higher in intensity (duration and distance). A lower than normal recovery time between HIA prior to injury was observed (35.6+/-16.8 s vs. 98.8+/-17.5 s, p=0.003). Within the limitations of the small sample, these findings may aid in further understanding injury and physical performance in elite soccer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Competitive Behavior
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • France
  • Humans
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Running / physiology
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Soccer / physiology
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Time Factors