Physical performance analysis of elite soccer players during the extra-time periods of the 2016 UEFA Euro Championship
Background: Despite the importance of extra-time in determining success in the knockout stages of soccer tournaments, there remains scant information on the physical demands of extra time on elite players.
Methods: This study investigated the physical performance profiles of all soccer players (N=59) who completed four matches that went to extra time at the 2016 UEFA Euro Championship. Players were categorised as follows: central defenders (CDs), wide defenders (WDs), central midfielders (CMs), wide midfielders (WMs), and attackers (ATs). Match activities were captured using a validated camera tracking system (InStat®).
Results: The findings showed that total distances covered by players during matches consistently decreased by 13% from the first half of the game (112.79±10.17 m) to extra time (103.17±6.39 m). The reduction of the total distance covered, especially in high-intensity running (i.e., high-speed running and sprinting), was more apparent in ATs than players in other positions.
Conclusion: Intervention strategies needed to sustain soccer players’ physical performance during extra-time periods and of post-match recovery modalities warrant further investigation.
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