Evaluation of match-running distances covered by soccer players during the UEFA EURO 2016

  • A Kubayi


Background: Despite a substantial body of literature on match-running distances covered by soccer players in domestic leagues, there appears to be limited information on the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Euro competitions. 

Objective: The aim of this study was to analyse the match-running distances covered by soccer players during the UEFA Euro 2016. 

Methods: A multiple-camera tracking system (InStat Ltd) was used to analyse 228 observations of soccer players who played 15 full matches during the tournament. The outfield players were categorised according to the following playing positions: central defenders (CDs), n=58; wide defenders (WDs), n=45; central midfielders (CMs), n=53, wide midfielders (WMs), n=38; and attackers (ATs), n=34. Data were reported as means with 95% confidence intervals (CI). A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was undertaken to examine the significant differences among players based on playing positions. 

Results: The results indicated that the overall total distance covered by players was 10 350 m, ranging from 8 446 m to 12 982 m. ATs covered the longest distance in high-speed running (872 m; 95% CI = 813–931), while CDs covered the shortest distance (542 m; 95% CI = 503–581). A statistically significant difference was observed in high-speed running among players (F (4 223) = 36.92, P=0.001). 

Conclusion: The findings of this study provide soccer scientists and coaches with important information to design and implement training sessions in order to elucidate the physical demands of players in view of successful team performance. 

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