A congested football calendar and the wellbeing of players: The correlation between exposure to match play for football players in European clubs during the months prior to the World Cup 2002 and the injuries and performance of these players during the World Cup
2004 (English)In: British Journal of Sports Medicine, ISSN 0306-3674, Vol. 38, 493-497 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objectives: To investigate the correlation between exposure to match play for football players in European clubs during the months prior to the World Cup 2002 and the injuries and performance of these players during the World Cup.
Methods: The team doctors at eleven of the best football clubs in Europe prospectively recorded player’s exposure and injuries during the 2001-2002 season (July 2001-May 2002). Sixty-five players participated in the World Cup in Korea/Japan (June 2002). During the World Cup, the clubs reported injuries sustained by these players, and their performance was evaluated by three international experts.
Results: The number of team matches during the season varied between 40 and 76 for the different countries involved. The individual player had a mean of 36 matches during the season. Top players played more matches, especially during the final period of the season. Players that participated in the World Cup (WC players) played more matches during the season compared to players who did not participate in the World Cup (46 vs 33 matches).
WC players did not show an increased risk for injury during the season. Twenty-nine per cent of the WC players incurred injuries during the World Cup and 32% performed below their normal standard. The players who under-performed in the World Cup played more matches during the 10 weeks prior to the World Cup compared to those who performed better than expected (12.5 vs 9, p< 0.05). Twenty-three (60%) of the 38 players who had played more than 1 match/week prior to the World Cup incurred injuries or underperformed during the World Cup.
Conclusions: There is a considerable variation in the number of matches played per season in European professional leagues. Top-level players are obliged to play many matches especially during the final period of the season.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 38, 493-497 p.
Football, injury, epidemiology, soccer, World Cup
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17257DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2003.009134OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-17257DiVA: diva2:207793
Original Publication:Jan Ekstrand, Markus Waldén and Martin Hägglund, A congested football calendar and the well- being of players, 2004, British Journal of Sports Medicine, (38), 493-497.http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2003.009134Copyright: BMJ Publishing Grouphttp://group.bmj.com/2009-03-122009-03-122013-09-04Bibliographically approved