Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fitness Rules

Just one statistic explains a huge amount of this World Cup: Thirty years ago, the average player ran a total of about 8 km. in a professional game. These days, it's up to 12 km...with some top players running as much as 15 km.

The game has gotten almost twice as fast, twice as physically demanding. A kind of fitness arms race has broken out, with footballers training to a standard that was just unheard of not so long ago. Put another way, Pele at the top of his form could not have kept up with the way the game is played these days.

This is why little teams struggle so much these days. This is why so many goals are scored in the last 15 minutes, when tiredness sets in and fitness gaps really start to show. This is why teams like Germany and England, able to run at full pace for the entire game, have such an edge. Fitness rules the modern game...


Anonymous Miguel E said...

Quico, those are quite interesting stats. Do you have a source for it in the web?

2:49 PM  
Blogger Francisco said...

Yup, but it's subscription only:

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Arturito said...

It also makes for much better looking players.

12:21 AM  
Blogger A.M. Mora y Leon said...

I get tired just watching those guys. Having played soccer in Singapore, I know what it is to be so tired I'm nearly blacking out and dead tired for two days afterward - it just boggles me what these players do, it's superhuman. But oh man they are good!!!!!

By the way, I hope that annoying Maradona (whom I love and hate)knows this!

12:39 AM  
Blogger A.M. Mora y Leon said...

By the way, soccer is also the sport that takes the most brainpower, I read somewhere, I'll see if I can find it. Watching them, I believe it.

12:41 AM  
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6:59 AM  

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