Rampinini E, Coutts AJ, Castagna C, Sassi R, Impellizzeri FM.
Human Performance Laboratory, S. S. MAPEI srl, Castellanza, Italy.
This study examined the influence of the opposing team, seasonal variations andthe influence of first half activity on match performance in top-level soccerplayers. Physical performance measures were collected using the ProZone matchanalysis system from 20 professional soccer players from the same team and their opponents (n = 188) during a season. Match activities (standing, walking,jogging, running, high-speed running and sprinting), distances (total distance[TD], high-intensity running [HIR] and very high-intensity running [VHIR]) andother measures including involvement with the ball and peak running speed werecollected. The influence of opponent team, the level of opposition, first halfphysical activities on second half activities, and playing position wereanalysed. The main finding was that TD (r = 0.62, p < 0.05), HIR (r = 0.51, p <0.05), and VHIR (r = 0.65, p < 0.05) of the reference team was influenced by the activity profile of the opponent teams. The TD and HIR was higher against Bestopponent teams compared to Worst opponent teams (p < 0.05), and the TD, HIR andVHIR travelled in the first half significantly influenced the distances coveredin the second half. TD, HIR and VHIR were greater at the end of the season. Theseresults may be used to interpret meaningful changes in match performance in toplevel soccer.
Int J Sports Med. 2007 Dec;28(12):1018-24. Epub 2007 May 11.