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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2000 June;40(2):162-9


language: English

Investigation of anthropometric and work-rate profiles of elite South American international soccer players

Rienzi E. *, Drust B. **, Reilly T. **, Carter J. E. L. ***, Martin A. ****

From the * Unisport, Centro de Evaluacion y Orientacion Fisica-Deportiva, Montevideo, Uruguay ** Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool, United Kingdom *** Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences San Diego State University, California, USA **** School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada


Background. The aim of the cur­rent inves­ti­ga­tion was to deter­mine the move­ment pro­files of ­elite South American soc­cer ­players dur­ing inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tion and exam­ine the rela­tion­ship ­between anthro­po­met­ric pro­file and ­work-­rate var­i­ables.
Methods. Seventeen ­full-­time pro­fes­sion­al soc­cer ­players ­were ­filmed ­while com­pet­ing for ­their coun­tries. Anthropometric pro­files ­were ­obtained for ­eleven of ­these ­players. Six ­full-­time pro­fes­sion­al ­players ­from the English Premier League ­were ­also ­filmed for com­par­a­tive pur­pos­es.
Results. The South American inter­na­tion­al ­players cov­ered sig­nif­i­cant­ly ­less (p<0.05) ­total dis­tance dur­ing ­match-­play ­than English Premier League ­players (International, 8638±1158 m; English Premier League, 10104±703 m). The ­total dis­tance cov­ered dur­ing the sec­ond ­half of the ­game was sig­nif­i­cant­ly ­reduced (p<0.05) com­pared to the ­first ­half dis­tance for ­both ­groups of ­players (­mean±SD ­first ­half 4605±625 m; ­mean±SD sec­ond ­half 4415±634 m). The ­data for ­both ­groups of ­players ­were com­bined to eval­u­ate posi­tion­al dif­fer­enc­es in the ­work-­rate pro­file. Midfield ­players cov­ered a sig­nif­i­cant­ly great­er (p<0.05) dis­tance ­than for­ward ­players (mid­field, 9826±1031 m; for­wards, 7736±929 m) and defend­ers cov­ered a great­er (p<0.05) dis­tance jog­ging back­wards ­than for­ward ­players (defend­ers, 276±155 m; for­wards, 68±25 m). Forwards sprint­ed a great­er dis­tance (p<0.05) ­than defen­sive ­players (defend­ers, 231±142 m; for­wards, 557±142 m). Mean somat­o­type was a bal­anced mes­o­morph (2-5 1/2-2). Body ­mass and mus­cle ­mass was relat­ed to the ­total dis­tance cov­ered (r=0.43, r=0.53, p<0.05).
Conclusions. Based on ­these ­data, it ­seems ­that an ­individual’s ­work-­rate pro­file is depen­dent ­upon the ­type of com­pe­ti­tion and the play­ing posi­tion. Relationships ­between anthro­po­met­ric pro­file and ­work-­rate are com­plex due to the inter­ac­tion ­between the var­i­ables ­that deter­mine ­work-­rate.

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