Analysis of external load in professional soccer: small sided games played with wildcard players

Jul 10, 2018 | ACADEMY


Training Load and Recovery in Football – XXVIII Convegno Nazionale AIPAC

professional football aipac


The research is oriented to understand and analyze different ball exercises (SSG) with wildcard players (WP) that are carried out during the training sessions (Castellano et al.,2016; Sanchez-Sanchez et al.,2017,2018).


The aim of study is to analyze two SSG formats with WP and goalkeepers (GK).


N°12 professional soccer players (24.7±3.9years, 78.4±4.2kg, 182.9±4.5cm) performed 5vs5+2GK+6WP (Fig.1) and in 6vs6+2GK+6WP (Fig. 2) (60x35m) and were monitored with GPS (GPEXE® SYSTEM, EXELIOsrl, Udine, Italy) at 18.18Hz during 4×3′(Rec. 1′). The parameters analyzed were: total distance, maximum speed, maximum power, distance at moderate (14.50-19.90km/h) and high intensity (19.90-25.20km/h), distance at high (20-55W/Kg) and at maximum power (>55W/Kg).


The results show that 5 vs 5 + 2 GK + 6 WP produces higher values in the maximum speed (26,3±1,1 vs 23,1±0,8; p<0.0005), maximum power (86,6±13,1 vs 71,1±10,6; p<0.0005), distance at moderate (302,3±59,8 vs 221,5±75,8; p<0.01) and high intensity (92,2±21,1 vs 33,3±22,1; p<0.0005), maximum power (34,6±7 vs 11,3±8; p<0.0005) than 6 vs 6 + 2 GK + 6 WP. No significant differences were detected for total distance (1658,4±101,7 vs 1603,8±178,5) and distance at high power (420,9±45,6 vs 355,2±104,9).

data analysis professional football
Figure 1: 5 vs 5 + 2 GK + 6 WP
data analysis professional football
Figure 2: 6 vs 6 + 2 GK + 6 WP


This study is the first one that has been concerned with analyzing the external load imposed by the 5vs5 and 6vs6 formats with 6WP and GK. The results show that the 5 vs 5 WP produces significantly higher values compared to 6vs6, showing that in terms of intensity they are completely different.


  1. Castellano J., Silva P., Usabiaga O., Barreira D. (2016)
    The Influence of Scoring Targets and Outer-Floaters on Attacking and Defending Team Dispersion, Shape and Creation of Space During Small-Sided Soccer Games J Human Kinetics 51: 153-163
  2. Sanchez-Sanchez J., Hernández D., Casamichana D., Martínez-Salazar C., Ramirez-Campillo R., Sampaio J. (2017)
    Heart Rate, Technical Performance, and Session-RPE in Elite Youth Soccer Small-Sided Games Played With Wildcard Players J Strength Cond Res 31(10): 2678-2685
  3. Sanchez-Sanchez J., Ramirez-Campillo R., Carretero M., Martín V., Hernández D., Nakamura F.Y. (2018, in press) Soccer small-sided games activities vary according to the interval regime and their order of presentation within the session J Human Kinetics


Cofano G.¹ – Professional soccer fitness coach FIGC
Traficante P. – Professional soccer fitness coach FIGC
Sannicandro I. – Professional soccer fitness coach FIGC, Clinical and Experimental Medicine Department, University of Foggia, Italy

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