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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Soccer Statistics- Are Soccer Players the Best Athletes?

Soccer Players, Athletic freaks of nature?

Soccer Athlete Reign Supreme?
There's no true comparison between any two sports, as each requires different athletic abilities. A football, rugby, and lacrosse player all have similar skill sets. Yet at the same time all three require different athletic abilities to excel in each individual sport.

When we look at a football player, depending on position, usually one needs to be larger and stronger than a lacrosse player. A rugby player can be said to have the same, yet needs to be more athletic than a lineman in football. Lacrosse players need to be able to hit hard just as the other two do, but needs the speed and endurance to run a significant more.

All three have similar basic abilities, like hitting hard and being strong, but all three differ on their specific abilities needed to be a star. Most if not all high level athletes in each sport excel in their sport specific requirements, as obvious as that seems.

So how do we compare sports, and come to the conclusion of which athletes are the best? Well no one athlete is better than the other, but we can contrast factors of the sport to say which sport requires a more well-rounded athlete.

 ~Some Statistics to Back Opinion~

Football, an American creation, has always been seen as big, strong, and aggressive natured sport. The image  of a 6'6 & 350 lb. lineman who can bench press 225 50 times comes to mind. The lineman isn't the only position of the 11 players on the field.

There are many positions, just like soccer, for example a running back is more built for quickness and speed. Yet most if not all soccer players, except the goalie, as to do similar amounts of running. So you can't compare position by position to soccer, even the cleats are different in sports...

The closest sport may be lacrosse where speed, agility, and strength all merge into every player. Yet looking at soccer, it is played over a total of an intense 90 minute game,  with two 45 minute  half's. That's two half's of straight of intense high paced play with only a break of 15 minute half time to rest. This 90 minutes can be just as physical as most sports, maybe not as hard hitting as say rugby, but still physical in nature.

The world of sports is full of different types of athletes, as we can see position by position every sport is different and sport to sport the players are different. Most say based off this there can be no conclusion to which athlete is the superior to others.

Yet I respectfully beg to differ. I think soccer players reign supreme, and I'll tell you my reasons why.

Let's first look at some statistics of soccer players, and than compare them to say football or rugby players.

A soccer game consists of running at high intensity for most of the full 90 minutes, depending on position. This means a high-level midfielder can run up to 10 miles in one game, average amount at about 7 miles. That isn't just running at 100% sprint, it breaks down to roughly 40% jogging 35% sprinting and 25% walking.

A full game of running (jogging and sprinting combined, or 75%) is about 68 minutes of non-stop intense physical play. Wow. Now I'm not sure about you but that's a lot of athletic ability needed to do that WHILE focusing on playing with your whole body. A soccer player has to be able to control a ball on the ground and air while playing at such a high speed.

Football you say?
I think to myself "I wish I could do that" yet here I am at a level close to that running similar amounts. I can only imagine what professionals or Division I players are like.

So now lets look at some of the statistics of the game of American Football. The Wall Street Journal did a study that found, on average, the most run-intensive positions cornerback/wide-receiver only runs about 1.25 miles a game.

As if this isn't a good contrast enough, there is on average only about 11 minutes of running in total of a 60 minute game. Granted you have to be extremely strong, physical, and aggressive. These same features are shown in a good chunk of soccer players, like most defenders. Except the difference of running and skill is immense.

Now these are just some slight statistics to back up my argument, but from my point of view that's all I need. I think all high-level athletes are special and skillful in there own field, but with some of the small statistics shown I feel like a soccer player reigns supreme.

I get the feeling a soccer player could play other sports easily, but most could not play soccer. Lets face it, its more than just running, its the ability to do with a ball at your feet and making decisions in milliseconds.

If you need a little bit extra strength in your soccer skill set try this:
The Ultimate Guide To Weight Training For Soccer (Ultimate Guide to Weight Training: Soccer)

Leave a comment and tell me what your opinions are on the matter, its only right as my view is slightly biased towards the sport I love!

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