Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Background: An increased load on the European elite football players is seen; both physically, with more matches with the national teams and the club teams, but also mentally. To play football on the highest level induce a high injury risk with injury incidences very high, both in the national team and in the club teams.
Objective: To investigate the injury risk among elite football players in UEFA Champions League when playing in their clubs compared to international matches with their national team respectively. Further the objective also was to study the injury incidence and injury pattern differences between national team players and non national team players.
Materials and methods: In this study 3233 player seasons were registered for 6141 injuries from 134 UEFA Champions League team seasons, during the seasons 2001/2002 to 2009/2010. Existing data from UEFA research group consisted of injuries, exposure, anthropometric data etc. The author collected data regarding national team exposure. Definitions of injury severity, injury categorization, injury incidence are standard definitions and the definition of being national team player or not were given by the author.
Results: The baseline data showed that the national team players played more matches, had more match injuries, had a higher match exposure and were younger. No large differences are seen in injury incidence in the type of injuries. Some specific injuries as Achilles tendon, low back pain and ACL are more common in matches whit the non national team players, while knee MCL injuries are more common among the national team players. The non national team players had more absence from injuries. When comparing the both groups in injury incidence in total, there were no differences.
Discussion: The results of this study can be compared to other similar studies, because of the same procedure regarding injury incidence etc. as consensus. The figures in this study show the same figures as other studies in the same subject.
Conclusions: The injury incidence and injury pattern do not diverge from one another or from earlier studies on the same topic. The noteworthy finding is that the players who play for the national team have not a higher injury incidence than the players who do not play for the national team.
2011. , 22 p.