The role of motion analysis in elite soccer

Carling, C. orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7456-3493, Bloomfield, J., Nelsen, L., and Reilly, T. (2008) The role of motion analysis in elite soccer. Sports Medicine, 38 (10). pp. 839-862. ISSN 0112-1642

[thumbnail of Author Accepted Manuscript]
PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript) - Accepted Version

Official URL:


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 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, identify practical implications of the established body of knowledge, while highlighting areas that require further exploration.

Repository Staff Only: item control page