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Wed. 13 October 2021

Distances covered: SkillCorner data analysis

Since last summer, the CIES Football Observatory has had the pleasure of working with the French leading company SkillCorner, specialised in the generation of physical data on football players. The 68th Monthly Report analyses the distances covered, notably according to running speed, for 7,855 matches played during the 2020 or 2020/21 seasons in 31 leagues from both Europe and America.

The study shows that players from European teams tend to cover more ground than those from South American clubs, which reflects a more rapid playing style. However, the gaps between the competitions analysed are not very marked. The values per outfield player and match stretch from 10.3km for the Spanish Liga and 9.6km in the Brazilian Serie A.

A significant link exists between the players’ age and distances covered, whether for total distance or that ran in high intensity (> 19.8 km/h). The strongest relation was recorded between the forwards’ age and high-speed runs. This finding confirms that the propensity of strikers to cover distances at high intensity decreases over the years, revealing the advantage of having young forwards in the squad.

Important differences at the level of total distances covered and the speed of runs also exist between positions. Midfielders run the most (10.6km per match on average), while centre backs the least (9.2km). Wingers cover the greatest distance both in high intensity (932m) and when sprinting (211m). In these cases too, the lowest figures were measured for centre backs.

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