Midfielders were the footballers most affected by covid

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Midfielders were the footballers most affected by covid

In the positional comparison, the midfielders stood out as the most used players and showed the greatest loss of performance. Image: Master1305.

(1-7-2022). Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Madrid have participated in a study to detect whether the sports break registered by the confinement due to COVID-19 had consequences on the actions of soccer players.

After the period of confinement, the teams in the professional soccer leagues found themselves in the position of having to recover the games in a short period of time, playing three games in one week. This could be a problem, due to the little rest they would choose between games. The Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), through professors from the Faculty of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences (INEF) in collaboration with other researchers from the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) and La Liga, have developed an investigation to analyze how the confinement could have affected the players in these scenarios of match congestion.

The conclusions indicate that the intensity of the gaming action in a post-lockdown period did not translate into a significant decrease in performance indicators, despite playing three games per week. On the other hand, significant differences were found when the analysis was done by game position; specifically, the midfielders, who were the most involved players, the ones who most suffered a drop in performance.

The main objective of the study was to compare high-intensity actions in a week of three La Liga Smartbank matches before and after the COVID-19 lockdown. The results of this study showed that players who participated in the same number of games before and after confinement in these intensive periods increased the number of minutes played and slightly decreased their performance, both in average speed and distance covered per minute. in the first part and the meters traveled between 14 and 21 km/h in the complete game and in the second part.

Taking into account the position of the players, the centre-backs, full-backs and midfielders who played the same number of games increased the minutes played. The laterals increased the distance covered in the first part, while the central ones decreased the meters traveled between 14 and 21 km/h, at a general level, and specifically in the second part. However, in the comparison by positions without taking into account the number of games, the midfielders stood out as the most used players and showed a greater loss of performance.

Useful information for technicians

In short, as Moisés Marquina, a UPM researcher who participated in the study, points out, “the sports break caused by the confinement had consequences for La Liga Smartbank players, who increased the number of minutes played and suffered a slight drop in performance, with midfielders being the most affected players”.

The information collected in this study may be important for both coaches and technical bodies related to football, to deal with periods of inactivity. The design of individualized and adequate training programs after long periods of seclusion is recommended, since this could be essential for the performance of the players in the resumption of competitions.

More information at www.upm.es


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