UEFA Champions League study: a prospective study of injuries in professional football during the 2001-2002 season
2005 (English)In: British Journal of Sports Medicine, ISSN 0306-3674, Vol. 39, no 8, 542-546 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: No previous study on adult football involving severaldifferent countries has investigated the incidence and patternof injuries at the highest club competitive level.
Objective: To investigate the risk exposure, risk of injury,and injury pattern of footballers involved in UEFA ChampionsLeague and international matches during a full football season.
Method: Eleven top clubs (266 players) in five European countrieswere followed prospectively throughout the season of 2001–2002.Time-lost injuries and individual exposure times were recordedduring all club and national team training sessions and matches.
Results: A total of 658 injuries were recorded. The mean (SD)injury incidence was 9.4 (3.2) injuries per 1000 hours (30.5(11.0) injuries per 1000 match hours and 5.8 (2.1) injuriesper 1000 training hours). The risk of match injury was significantlyhigher in the English and Dutch teams than in the teams fromFrance, Italy, and Spain (41.8 (3.3) v 24.0 (7.9) injuries per1000 hours; p = 0.008). Major injuries (absence >4 weeks)constituted 15% of all injuries, and the risk of major injurywas also significantly higher among the English and Dutch teams(p = 0.04). National team players had a higher match exposure,with a tendency towards a lower training injury incidence thanthe rest of the players (p = 0.051). Thigh strain was themost common injury (16%), with posterior strains being significantlymore common than anterior ones (67 v 36; p<0.0001).
Conclusions: The risk of injury in European professional footballis high. The most common injury is the thigh strain typicallyinvolving the hamstrings. The results suggest that regionaldifferences may influence injury epidemiology and traumatology,but the factors involved are unclear. National team playershave a higher match exposure, but no higher risk of injury thanother top level players.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 39, no 8, 542-546 p.
elite; epidemiology; injury incidence; professional; football; soccer
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14383DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2004.014571OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-14383DiVA: diva2:23368