Physical Activity during a Prolonged Congested Period in a Top-Class European Football Team


Lo Djaoui 1 , * , Del P. Wong 2 , Vincent Pialoux 1 , Christophe Hautier 1 , Cristiano D. Da Silva 3 , Karim Chamari 4 , Alexandre Dellal 6

1 Centre de Recherche et d'Innovation sur le Sport (CRIS), Universit de Lyon 1, France

2 Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

3 Department of Physical Education, Faculty of Viosa, Viosa, Brazil

4 Research and Education Centre, Aspetar, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar

6 FIFA Medical Excellence Centre, Santy Orthopedicae clinical, sport science and research department, Lyon, France

How to Cite: Djaoui L, Wong D P, Pialoux V, Hautier C, Da Silva C D, et al. Physical Activity during a Prolonged Congested Period in a Top-Class European Football Team, Asian J Sports Med. Online ahead of Print ; 5(1):34233. doi: 10.5812/asjsm.34233.


Asian Journal of Sports Medicine: 5 (1); 47-53
Published Online: December 25, 2013
Article Type: Research Article
Received: March 2, 2013
Accepted: October 7, 2013


Purpose: The aim of the present study was to examine the variation in physical activity of elite soccer players within successive prolonged periods of fixture congestion over 5 months of competition during the competitive season 2011-2012.

Methods: Sixteen international players, classified into 6 positions (central defenders: CD; full-backs: FB; central defensive midfielders: CDM; wide midfielders: WM; central attacking midfielders: CAM; forwards: FW), were examined during the French First League, French Cup, and UEFA Champion's League matches. The total distance covered at light (<12 km.h?1), sustained-cruising (>18-21 km.h?1), high (>21-23 km.h?1), very high (>23-25 km.h?1), sub-maximal (>25-27 km.h?1), and maximal (>27 km.h?1) intensity running (IR) were measured and analysed using a semi-automatic match analysis system (Amisco Pro).

Results: No differences were observed between congested and non-congested periods (two vs. one match a week, respectively) for the total distance covered at all the speed thresholds over 18 km.h?1, with no variation in physical fitness over the 5 studied months. Specifically to the playing positions, regardless of the congestion periods, FB and WM covered more distance than CDM over 21km.h?1; FB, WM and FW covered similar distances for all running intensities; and CD and CDM covered shorter distance during non-congested compared to congested periods (P<0.05) at light-IR.

Conclusion: The present study reveals that prolonged congested match fixture did not affect the high-intensity physical activity of top-class soccer players during official games during a 5 months fixture period.

Full Text

Full text is available in PDF

© 2013, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.