At The Limit: Player Workload in Elite Professional Men’s Football

This report provides players’ perspectives of their workload from club and country duties. The report builds on previous FIFPRO medical reports and player surveys. Additional scientific findings concerning the exposure of players to excessive workload and insufficient rest is also taken into account.

Our industry’s evolution has been accelerating and so have competition reforms. As a consequence of these reforms the international match calendar has become denser. The game is faster, more physical and more global than ever. Although the demands on players are increasing, their physical and psychological capacity has natural limits.

This puts not only their health and therefore career prospects at risk but threatens to diminish their peak sporting performance and as a result the quality of competitions. Our research focuses on football’s fast-changing competition landscape from an elite player’s perspective – those who compete at an international level for their club and national team – and formulates key policies and regulatory responses based on health and safety concerns.

Our objective is to protect players and to safeguard sporting excellence. The report uses a number of player case studies to showcase how competition calendars and travel requirements clash with scientific best practice, leaving some elite players on the limit of their mental and physical capacity.


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