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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
Original Articles BODY COMPOSITION, SPORT NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTATION (ergogenics)
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2005 March;45(1):58-67
Analysis of age, stature, body mass, BMI and quality of elite soccer players from 4 European Leagues
Bloomfield J. 1, Polman R. 1, Butterly R. 2, O’donoghue P. 3
1 Department of Sport Science University of Hull, Hull, UK
2 School of Leisure and Sports Studies Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK
3 School of Sport, PE and Recreation University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Cardiff, UK
Aim. The aim was to identify which league (English Premier League, Spanish La Liga Division, Italian Serie A and German Bundesliga) contained the highest quality players and whether differences in age, stature, body mass and BMI existed between the different positions in different leagues.
Methods. Data were collected concerning 2 085 professional soccer players playing in these 4 leagues during the 2001-2002 season. Player quality was determined by the leagues’ number of international players and their nations’ FIFA World Ranking (FWR).
Results. The La Liga Division contained the highest quality players (mean FWR) (11.5±13.8), followed by the Serie A (13.3±21.3), the Premier League (30.6±27.3) and the Bundesliga (30.7±27.1), respectively. Also, differences were found between the age, stature, body mass and BMI of players in different positions and in the different leagues. Age had a significant influence on position with goalkeepers (years) (27.4±5.3) being older than midfielders (26.2±4.3) and forwards (25.8±4.2) and defenders (26.8±4.3) being older than forwards. Players from the Bundesliga had the greatest stature (m) (1.83±0.06), body mass (kg) (77.5±6.4) and BMI (kg . m-2) (23.2±1.1) of the 4 leagues. In reflection, La Liga’s players had the shortest stature (1.80±0.06) and the Serie A players had the least body mass (74.3±5.4) and BMI (22.8±1.1).
Conclusion. The differences discovered suggest either differences in playing style and physical demands of the different leagues, different physical conditioning methods or, alternatively, that there are desirable characteristics of players with teams in all 4 leagues seeking such players.