alexa Sprinting analysis of elite soccer players during European Champions League and UEFA Cup matches.
General Science

General Science

Journal of Ergonomics

Author(s): Di Salvo V, Baron R, GonzlezHaro C, Gormasz C, Pigozzi F

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It has been suggested that assessment of high-intensity activities during a match is a valid measure of physical performance in elite soccer. Recently, sprinting activities have been analysed in more depth. The aim of this study was to develop a detailed analysis of the sprinting activities of different playing positions during European Champions League and UEFA Cup competitions. Altogether, 717 elite outfield soccer players were evaluated throughout 2002-2006 using ProZone® (Leeds, UK). Sprinting (explosive and leading) was analysed for each playing position. To compare positional differences, a Kruskal-Wallis analysis was performed. Differences were found among positions for total number of sprints and total sprint distance covered: wide midfielders > (attackers = wide defenders) > central midfielders > central defenders (P < 0.001), as well as for explosive sprints: (wide midfielders = attackers = wide defenders) > central defenders, wide midfielders > central midfielders > central defenders and attackers = wide defenders = central midfielders (P < 0.001), and leading sprints: wide midfielders > (attackers = wide defenders) > central midfielders > central defenders (P < 0.001). For each group, there were no differences in ratio of explosive to leading sprints. Wide midfielders performed a higher number of sprints in all five distance categories than all other positions. This study showed that sprinting characteristics are influenced by position. Wide midfielders have to complete additional high-intensity activities during training sessions compared with the other positions to achieve the performance level required during the match.

This article was published in J. Sports Sci. and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics

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