Then and Now: How Soccer Has Changed Over Time
While soccer has changed radically since its inception, perhaps the biggest adjustment players have had to make is in terms of the actual physical demands of the game. In fact, there have actually never been as many changes throughout the history of the game as there have been over the last 2 decades. This is thanks to the evolution of technology that although has helped players perform better, has also increased the difficulty of doing so as well.
Increased Physical Fitness Required
Soccer players these days have to be a lot fitter than once was necessary, as they are required to cover over 50% more distance than players of yesteryear. Not only do these players have to run further, more often, they also have to do so at much quicker speeds in order to keep up with the athletes they are competing against.
As an example, the amount of sprinting and high-intensity playing activities that soccer players perform has almost doubled since the year 2002. Over the course of a 90-minute soccer game, the ball is in play, and live, for almost 15 minutes longer than was the case in 1990, which works out to around 17%. This is why the players need to not only be in better physical condition, far fitter in order to meet the endurance required, but also more athletic overall: faster, more agile, and able to summon larger amounts of mental concentration in order to consistently perform properly at a professional level.
The soccer betting Australia offers its punters, as well as that which the rest of the globe provides, has had to take into account the increased performance levels of players in order to provide competitive odds that take all of this information into account. Injuries have become more regular too, as the increased physical demands put the body under greater strain. For punters around the world, keeping tabs on what’s happening in the world of soccer and how fit the players are has become an essential in placing solid wagers.
The Hardest Working Soccer Players
Over the period of 2005 to 2006, midfielders were proven to be the Premiership’s hardest-worked players, with right midfielders like Gerrard the most energetic of this group. The average amount of ground covered by players in this position, just over 11 kilometres, or just more than 7 miles, was not far short of the figures being tabulated for Gerrard.
Centre-backs, on the other hand, did the least amount on average, but even these players averaged only a fraction less than 10 kilometres for each match. Right midfielders also did the fastest printing, managing on average a total of 147 high-intensity bursts over the course of a match, and covering just over 300 meters flat-out.
High Intensity Activities Have Increased Over Time
High-intensity activities, defined as the kinds of runs made by soccer players at least 3 quarters of the pace of sprint, have increased from just over 600 per team per match in the period of 2002 to 2003 to over 1 200 in the period of 2005 to 2006. The ground covered by the players has also been increased, by as much as 40% over a 4 year period. A sprint can be classified as a run performed faster than 7 metres per second, and would be equivalent to a player running 100 meters in just 14 seconds.
Soccer has changed dramatically over the years, and it looks like the beautiful game is just going to get faster and more demanding as time goes by