Last summer, the nation watched and cheered for the best of the best on the world’s biggest stage. The 2014 FIFA World Cup ranks as the most-viewed World Cup ever on English-language TV in the United States (1)
Watching such explosive players as Messi, Neymar and Rooney, it could motivate anyone watching to want to achieve their level of greatness on the field.
Not only were these players on field showings nothing less than spectacular, they were looking back on the overall injury statistics of the tournament compared to past years, it’s another way the viewers can be inspired. The injury incidences in FIFA World Cups have decreased from a peak of 2.67 injuries per match in 2002 to 1.68 injuries per match in 2014, equivalent to an overall decrease of 37% (2). That’s almost one less injury per game and in a tournament of 64 games, quite a remarkable number.
Of course over the years of the World Cup (soccer in general) there have been many changes in the rules to promote safer play. Not just the rules, but refereeing can be attributed to support that fact. However, despite the legalities of fair play, injury is still apart of any contact sport. Almost two-thirds of the injuries during the 2014 FIFA World Cup affected the lower extremity with thigh strain being the most frequent diagnosis (2). Whether if it’s an injury by contact or an injury by non-contact, there are still ways to better help prevent injuries from occurring at all.
To aid in decreasing injury in the sport of soccer, on and off field soccer specific training, mobility awareness, proper warm-up sessions and recovery have been apart of world-class athlete’s routine for practice and tournaments. For an athlete participating in preventative exercises to stay healthy, largely proven in the 2014 World Cup, are essential ‘tools’ for being considered one of the greatest soccer players. It ensures that they are healthy, strong, and determined enough to play 90+ minute matches during their entire season, while enhancing their overall performance.
Regardless of gender, age or skill level, there is always a way to prepare yourself for what’s next. ~Brittany Galindo #CAPPT #Soccer #fifaworldcup
1. “2014 World Cup Final on ABC: Most-Watched Men’s World Cup Championship Ever – ESPN MediaZone.” ESPN Media Zone. 14 July 2014. Web. 5 May 2014.
2. Junge, Astrid, and Jiri Dvořák. “Football Injuries during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.” BMJ Journals, 25 Feb. 2015. Web. 5 May 2016.