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This is how training and matches influence professional football injuries

Reference image. According to estimates, a team of 25 players will have an average of 50 injuries per year.


In professional football, injuries are one of the biggest problems that clubs encounter when facing the demands of top competition. According to estimates, a team of 25 players will have an average of 50 injuries year. Moreover, the progressive increase in the number of matches per season has contributed to its growing incidence.

A study recently published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine shows how load affects training and matches in muscular problems in professional athletes soccer. Specifically, they analyzed 40 players from the first division of Spain (LaLiga Santander) to understand what factors can be associated with damage of this type.

“Injuries have a clear sporting impact, but they also generate an economic effect. It is estimated that for each player injured for a month, a professional football club could lose around 500,000 euros”, Juan Del Coso, lead author of the study and researcher at the Rey Juan Carlos University (URJC), explains to SINC.

Del Coso adds that “for this reason, the teams professionals They allocate a large amount of human and material resources to injury prevention, with technical bodies dedicated exclusively to preventing or recovering injured players”, adds Del Coso.

However, these complications continue to occur in professional soccer because the competitive demands are very high and the causes of an injury are multifactorial.

Injury triggers

Scientists have measured the physical load and the feeling of fatigue in the week before the muscle injury occurs and have compared it with other periods. Likewise, they have evaluated how much the player runs in the 5 and 15 minutes before the damage and have compared it to what he usually runs in those time slots in other games.

The results show that, seven days before a injury, the physical load is higher and athletes feel greater accumulated fatigue. “In the game in which they are injured, it coincides with the fact that 5 minutes before they had a period of great physical demand, especially in distance traveled above 21 km/h”, points out the researcher.

This indicates that the union of fatigue physical activity during the week before the game and a period of high intensity during it can be triggers for muscle injury.

This information can have a lot of impact on the soccer professional, since the teams already measure the physical load during training and matches through various tools. In addition, they usually monitor daily fatigue. Therefore, when there is a player with excessive fatigue in the days before a match, the technical teams should raise with the coaches the greatest risk of injury that exists.

“And, if possible, this one should not participate in the encounter, at least if damage is to be avoided. On many occasions, it is better for him not to play when he is fatigued than to lose him for a month. In the middle of the competition, it is impossible to prevent a period of 5 minutes of a lot of activity from taking place”.

Less serious injuries, but more incidence

Of all the types of injuries, muscle injuries are the ones that most concern professional football teams because they are the most recurrent: they account for between 30 and 50% of those that occur in a team. (Read other science news like: Russian and American astronauts land together, despite war in Ukraine)

“Although muscular problems are less serious than those of ligamentsits effect on teams is greater because its incidence is much higher and it usually affects athletes who regularly compete”, continues the expert.

This implies that the soccer players with the highest quality in each team, who are the ones who play the most games, could be the most exposed to these injuries, especially at times of the season when the calendar is congested, such as when competitions national and international coincide in the same week.

The role of physical load in injuries

This research helps to clarify an ongoing debate in professional football about whether physical loading is a trigger for muscle injury. “There are authors who argue that soccer players can withstand heavy work without getting injured, and it is correct up to a certain point,” says Dl Coso.

Thus, if in the 7 days prior to a match important the player has been subjected to a higher load than usual, and shows greater fatigue, these are clear signs that he may be injured in the match, especially if during the match he faces 5 minutes of very high intensity. (You may be interested in: This is how a butterfly lost for more than a century was found in Colombia)

Indirectly, this research also supports team rotations and more substitutions, especially now that up to five per game are allowed.

“The key is not whether the physical load faced by the athlete is high or low, but whether it is higher than usual before a match for the specific person, and how it is perceived”, concludes the URJC expert .

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Source: Elespectador

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