European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 113, Issue 9, pp 2193–2201 | Cite as

Neuromuscular function, hormonal and redox status and muscle damage of professional soccer players after a high-level competitive match

  • João R. SilvaEmail author
  • António Ascensão
  • Franklim Marques
  • André Seabra
  • António Rebelo
  • José Magalhães
Original Article


The main aim was to analyse the impact of an official match on hormonal and redox status, muscle damage and inflammation and neuromuscular function. Seven high-level male soccer players from the same team performed an official match and data were collected 72 h before, 24, 48 and 72 h post-match. Plasma testosterone/cortisol ratio (T/C), creatine kinase (CK), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and reductase (GR) activities, myoglobin (Mb), C-reactive protein (CRP), uric acid (UA), protein sulfhydryls (–SH), malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations and total antioxidant status (TAS) were measured. Sprint, jump and change of direction performance, and maximal isokinetic knee extension and flexion were obtained as neuromuscular functional parameters. Cortisol increased and T/C decreased until 48 h recovery (P < 0.05). Mb, CRP and –SH (P < 0.05) increased at 24 h and CK, TAS, SOD and MDA (P < 0.05) increased up to 48 h recovery. GR increased and GPX decreased at 24 h recovery (P < 0.05). Jump performance decreased 24 h post-match (P < 0.05), but no significant alterations in sprint, change of direction and muscle strength were observed. In conclusion, an official match resulted in changes in plasma biomarkers until 48 h of recovery period, without major impact on performance.


Soccer Muscle damage Oxidative stress Anabolic:catabolic balance Fatigue Recovery 



We would like to thank to the Professional Soccer Club, to their technical staff, medical department and to the soccer players involved in the study for their committed participation. The excellent technical and practical assistance and skilful involvement of Eduardo Oliveira, Emanuel Passos and Inês Aleixo is appreciated.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

The authors declare that all the procedures of the experiments comply with the current laws of the country in which they were performed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • João R. Silva
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • António Ascensão
    • 2
    • 5
  • Franklim Marques
    • 3
  • André Seabra
    • 4
    • 6
  • António Rebelo
    • 1
    • 6
  • José Magalhães
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of SoccerFaculty of Sport, University of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Sports Biology, Faculty of SportUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Analysis, Faculty of Pharmacy, Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMC)University of PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Department of Kinanthropometry, Faculty of SportUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  5. 5.Research Center in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure (CIAFEL)PortoPortugal
  6. 6.Center of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport (CIFI2D)PortoPortugal

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