Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Influence of the soccer players’ professional status on the frequency and severity of injuries: A comparative pilot study

Tania Fernández Villa, Lorenzo Benito del Pozo, Carlos Ayán Pérez, Gonzalo Revuelta Benzanilla, Antonio Maestro Fernández, Vicente Martín Sánchez



The purpose of this study was to examine the frequency and severity of injuries sustained by members of a single soccer team over two seasons, when they played in the two divisions.


Comparative study between two levels of professional soccer: the Spanish First Division (FD), and Second Division (SD). The original sample consisted of professional players of the same team whose injuries were prospectively recorded over the 2006–7 (SD) and 2008–9 (FD) seasons.


Of a total of 101 injuries registered, 64 (63.4%) were considered minor, 26 (25.7%) moderate, and 11 (10.9%) major. The incidence of moderate or major injuries during training was three times higher in FD (3.36 vs 1.01; RR = 3.30), as was the total number of injuries during match play (52.82 vs 16.01; RR = 3.30). As regards days lost, the incidence was higher in FD, in both training (60%) and matches (30%). The number of days lost per 1000 h exposure was 50% higher in FD (129.60 vs 85.01 days/1000 h exposure).


The results show that in Spanish football, professional status may be a determining factor as regards injuries. These findings also confirm the fact that workplace injury risk is considerably higher in professional football than in most other sectors. It would therefore appear that clubs should take stock of the importance of developing injury prevention strategies, and use their financial resources to reduce the overall risk to clubs and players.

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