Sports Medicine

, Volume 38, Issue 10, pp 839–862 | Cite as

The Role of Motion Analysis in Elite Soccer

Contemporary Performance Measurement Techniques and Work Rate Data
  • Christopher CarlingEmail author
  • Jonathan Bloomfield
  • Lee Nelsen
  • Thomas Reilly
Review Article Motion Analysis in Elite Soccer


The optimal physical preparation of elite soccer (association football) players has become an indispensable part of the professional game, especially due to the increased physical demands of match-play. The monitoring of players’ work rate profiles during competition is now feasible through computer-aided motion analysis. Traditional methods of motion analysis were extremely labour intensive and were largely restricted to university-based research projects. Recent technological developments have meant that sophisticated systems, capable of quickly recording and processing the data of all players’ physical contributions throughout an entire match, are now being used in elite club environments. In recognition of the important role that motion analysis now plays as a tool for measuring the physical performance of soccer players, this review critically appraises various motion analysis methods currently employed in elite soccer and explores research conducted using these methods. This review therefore aims to increase the awareness of both practitioners and researchers of the various motion analysis systems available, and identify practical implications of the established body of knowledge, while highlighting areas that require further exploration.


Global Position System Motion Analysis Work Rate Global Position System Receiver Sprint Performance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors have received no funding for the preparation of this article. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review except that Christopher Carling and Lee Nelson have previously participated in the development of the AMISCO Pro match analysis system and Jonathan Bloomfield was previously employed by Prozone Group Limited.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data International BV 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Carling
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jonathan Bloomfield
    • 2
  • Lee Nelsen
    • 3
  • Thomas Reilly
    • 4
  1. 1.LOSC Lille Métropole Football ClubCentre de Formation, Centre de FormationDomain de LuchinFrance
  2. 2.Sports Institute of Northern IrelandUniversity of UlsterJordanstownUK
  3. 3.School of Sport and Exercise SciencesLoughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK
  4. 4.Research Institute for Sport and Exercise SciencesLiverpool John Moores UniversityHenry Cotton CampusUK

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