Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

How Much Do Soccer Players Run In a Game?

Luka Modric

With 90 minutes of non-stop action on a huge pitch, soccer players need to be in remarkable shape to play at a high level. Most players are almost constantly moving, even if it is not always high intensity. So the question arises, just how much do soccer players run in a typical game?

Attempting To Calculate Distance In a Game

Throughout the history of soccer, teams have been attempting to estimate how much distance a soccer player covers during an entire game. In the past, this was a challenging task because it required manually tracking every instance of player movement. However, advancements in technology have made it easier to get more accurate estimates. When watching professional matches, it seems like players would average just over 7 miles (11.2 kilometers) of movement per match.

Tracking devices can now be worn by soccer players, which helps in measuring their effort during games and practices. This data allows teams to analyze and compare individual performance, providing valuable insights into player effort and stamina.

What Type of Intensity Is The Movement?

Paul Pogba

While it might seem like soccer players are constantly running for the entire 90 minutes, the reality is different. Most of the time, players find strategic moments to walk or even stand during a match. This allows them to conserve energy and maintain high performance when it matters most.

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On average, soccer players cover about 2/3 of their distance by either walking or lightly jogging. It is crucial for players to pace themselves and strategically conserve energy throughout the game. This approach ensures that they can perform at their best during crucial moments without burning out too quickly.

How Fast Can Players Move At Top Speed?

Kylian Mbappe

While the majority of movement in soccer occurs at a relatively slow speed, the intensity increases when players have control of the ball or are contesting a player on the opposing team. The fastest soccer players can reach speeds of up to 22mph (35kph). However, it’s important to note that these high-speed actions do not occur as frequently as one might think.

Studies show that players, on average, only have control of the ball for a few minutes during a match. This is understandable considering the number of players on the field at any given time. Although there are intense moments, soccer players do not sprint as frequently as athletes in other sports, even though they cover significant distances.

Examining Each Position

Soccer Positions

Different positions in soccer require different types of running during a match. Managers and coaches take these factors into account when designing lineups and formations.

  • Goalkeepers cover the least distance, totaling around 2-3 miles (3.2-4.8 km) per game. While their primary responsibility is to guard the goal, they do move around a lot during attacks and counterattacks.

  • Defenders cover approximately 4-7 miles (6.4-11.2 km) per game. Central defenders have less ground to cover than wing defenders, but they often have to sprint to keep up with fast strikers.

  • Midfielders cover the most distance, averaging 6-9 miles (9.6-14.5 km) per game. With their expansive role on the field, midfielders have the largest territory to cover.

  • Strikers accumulate around 3-6 miles (4.8-9.6 km) per game. Although they cover less distance, they must be quick and capable of sprinting at high speeds during attacking opportunities.

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Q: Can tactics be used to reduce the mileage on players?

A: Yes, there are strategies to give players strategic breaks and reduce their mileage. Formations and substitutions can be used to hide certain players or conserve their energy. Additionally, teams can eat up the clock when they have a lead to force opponents to chase the ball.


Soccer players cover an impressive amount of ground during a game, with distances varying depending on position, game dynamics, and individual factors. Understanding the different intensities of movement and the role each position plays can provide valuable insights into the physical demands of the game. Movin993 offers more valuable information about soccer and the world of sports. Explore Movin993 to stay connected with all the latest news, updates, and insights.