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FIFA report shows how quickly women’s football is evolving

A FIFA report which investigated various differences between the 2015 and 2019 World Cups found that the players were faster and fitter in 2019 than 2015.

The findings which was published by Fifa this week shows increase in both speed and intensity, findings coming from a physical analysis containing analyzed data of 436 players from 24 countries in the World Cup 2019.

The study showed than more players reached a higher level in terms of speed, compared with previous tournaments and it was shown across alla positions, although this was especially evident for wide midfielders. All playing positions also covered slightly more total distance at France 2019 than at Canada 2015.

“When we observed that intense running had increased across various playing positions by approximately 16-32 per cent from Canada 2015 to France 2019, it was a clear confirmation of the game’s evolution. The second unique outcome of the research was the realisation that ‘context is king’ when interpreting the physical demands of women’s football. For instance, the same player in two separate matches would have vastly different demands based on the context of the game (e.g. the opposition standard, score, tactics and system employed).” said Dr Paul Bradley, a reader in Sports Performance at Liverpool John Moores University and a Consultant for FC Barcelona, and collaborator with FIFA in the study.

FIFA also collaborated with Dawn Scott who is the physical performance manager for England’s Lionesses and previously between 2010 to 2019 the High Performance Coach for the US Women’s National Team (USWNT).

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The data collected suggests that women’s football continues to improve and develop as the game becomes bigger and that the physical demands of women’s football have increased in recent years. Systematic training models seem necessary to improve the physical status of female players and further increase the level and intensity of the game.

Link to report

Link to key findings

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