Performance Characteristics According to Playing Position in Elite Soccer

Di Salvo, V., Baron, R., Tschan, H., Calderon Montero, F.J., Bachl, N., Pigozzi, F.

The paper presents a comprehensive study of the movement characteristics of elite soccer players during match play, categorized by playing position. The study involved monitoring 300 outfield players from top-class teams during Spanish Premier League and Champions League matches using the Amisco Pro® computerized match analysis system.

Analysis of the data revealed significant differences in total distance covered among playing positions, with midfield players covering a notably greater distance compared to defenders and forwards (p < 0.0001). Additionally, there were significant variations in work rates (p < 0.5 – 0.0001) across different playing positions. No significant disparities were observed between halves in terms of total distance covered or distances covered at submaximal and maximal intensities. However, a notable finding was that more distance was covered in the first half compared to the second half at medium intensities (11.1 – 19 km/h). These findings offer a detailed insight into the physical demands placed on elite soccer players according to their positional roles and work intensities. Such information can be valuable for developing individualized training programs tailored to the specific needs of players based on their playing positions.

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