Soccer Injuries

A Review on Incidence and Prevention


Several investigators have studied the incidence and causes of soccer injuries in male professional players; however, epidemiological data on injuries in female soccer players are limited. From the data presented, it can be estimated that, on average, every elite male soccer player incurs approximately one performance-limiting injury each year. Nine studies on the prevention of soccer injuries were found in the literature. There is some evidence that multi-modal intervention programmes result in a general reduction in injuries. Ankle sprains can be prevented by external ankle supports and proprioceptive/coordination training, especially in athletes with previous ankle sprains. With regard to severe knee injuries, the results of prevention studies are partly inconclusive; however, training of neuromuscular and proprioceptive performance as well as improvement of jumping and landing technique seem to decrease the incidence of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in female athletes. Prevention programmes are likely to be more effective in groups with an increased risk of injury. More methodologically well-designed studies are required to evaluate the effects of specific preventive interventions.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) for the funding of this study. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.

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Correspondence to Dr Astrid Junge.

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Junge, A., Dvorak, J. Soccer Injuries. Sports Med 34, 929–938 (2004).

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  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury
  • Soccer Player
  • Ankle Sprain
  • Injury Prevention Programme
  • Female Player